Limbe Wildlife Centre: April 2020 by Guillaume LE FLOHIC Manager (Limbe Wildlife Centre) & Country Director (Pandrillus Cameroon)
Published in May 2020 Limbe Wildlife Centre, P.O. Box 878, Limbe, Republic of Cameroon
Limbe Wildlife Centre is a collaborative effort between the Pandrillus Foundation and the Republic of Cameroon, Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, MINFOF Pandrillus Foundation is a non-profit making NGO specialized in the protection, rehabilitation and reintroduction of primates, as well as management and sustainable financing of conservation projects in Africa Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife is in charge of implementing the national forest policy for ensuring sustainable management and conservation of wildlife and biodiversity over the national territory as enacted by forestry law No. 01/94 of 20 April which regulates all forestry, wildlife and fisheries activities
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Accreditations & Awards
In December 2018, the Limbe Wildlife Centre has had its accreditation with the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) renewed for another five years. PASA is the largest association of wildlife centres and sanctuaries in Africa, founded by the Limbe Wildlife Centre, along with 6 other primate sanctuaries. Today, PASA includes 23 organizations in 13 countries which demonstrate exceptional commitment and the highest standards of animal welfare and conservation practices, to securing a future for Africaâ€™s primates and their habitat.
In April 2018, the Limbe Wildlife Centre was voted Best Volunteer Abroad Project and chosen to feature in the Tutorfulâ€™s Wildlife Conservation editorial along with other prestigious organisations making a notable difference in wildlife conservation worldwide. The LWC gives people the chance to volunteer and assist experienced caregivers with the daily caregiving activities, offering the opportunity for volunteers to the experience of making a meaningful contribution to primate conservation (and all the satisfaction this provides).
In August 2019, the Limbe Wildlife Centre received a 2019 Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award at the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Geneva, Switzerland, in recognition of the remarkable efforts the LWC has made to help combat wildlife crime.
APRIL 2020 HIGHLIGHTS ACHIEVEMENTS APRIL 2020 & OBJECTIVES MAY 2020 1. Pandrillus-GoC Partnership & Public Relations 2. Population management & Animal welfare 3. Wildlife rehabilitation and release programme 4. Infrastructures and development| Material & Equipment 5. Community Conservation, Environmental education & Ecotourism 6. Wildlife conservation research & Health monitoring 7. Capacity building & staff empowerment 8. Communication & Visibility 9. Revenues generated
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Dear Friends and Supporters, Covid-19 is changing all our lives, and our capacity to maintain our level of care to the animals is seriously challenged. Our project has never faced a greater existential threat, even from the past Ebola crisis (2014) and the Anglophone crisis (ongoing since 2016). These successive crises had affected our self-financing as well, but we always found solutions to engage international donors and raise funds from abroad. Now, however, we are extremely limited in our ability to source enough funds.
60% of our annual budget for animal care and food, and twice the amount we have saved. That extreme burden was well highlighted in the reports done by Reuters and that you can find here1 and here2. Currently, our funds are only sufficient to sustain us for the next 3-4 months. In this context, we need to be more creative in our attempts to find alternative sources of funding support.
Last month, I announced that we need to raise $80,000 to sustain our activities. This month, our deficit has climbed to $100,000, which is
On the one hand, we are trying our best to compensate for the enormous loss resulting from the closure of our abroad volunteer programme and the entrance of the Limbe Wildlife Centre, which provide 25% of our annual budget. Unfortunately, our international sponsors also face a terrible situation, as they rely on incomes and need to secure their survival and their staff as well.
1 The rescued
apes facing a double threat from COVID-19, Reuters, 29 April 2020
sanctuary for rescued apes threatened by COVID-19, Reuters, 29 April 2020
My thoughts go to them and we hope we can help each other in this difficult time. I also thank all individual donors who generously donated through our fundraiser campaign and am grateful to the organisations that stand to support us in accomplishing our goals: the Programme for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in Cameroon â€“ South West Region (PSMNR-SWR), a Development programme of the Republic of Cameroon (cofinanced by the Federal Republic of Germany through KFW and coordinated by the Regional Delegation for MINFOF) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), who reacted promptly to provide emergency funds. Besides, we are, as ever, thankful to all our longlasting supporters who are still able to help us in this critical period. We will do our utmost to continue supporting the MINFOF in our common mission to protect Cameroon wildlife. It must also be emphasised that the government urgently needs to step in during this catastrophic situation and give significant financial aid. In order to safeguard the Limbe Wildlife Centre, I have established a 24-measure Emergency Action Plan, through 5 Actions aimed at achieving 12 objectives. Our goals are to face the pandemic and its consequences on economy, social and human wellbeing while pursuing our conservation efforts. We must still establish the pilot soft release programme for the African grey parrots and keep educating and inspiring Cameroonians. The total budget of the Emergency Action Plan is $205,300. We need $128,400 until the end of the year. Our priority, though, remains to ensure the survival and welfare of our 455 animals.
All these animals, who have been victims of poaching and illegal trade, have been under our care for years. Yet, they should not and cannot be considered the sole responsibility and concern of the Limbe Wildlife Centre. The ongoing trafficking of wildlife can largely be attributed to the weaknesses of wildlife law enforcement agencies, as well as the absence of a harmonized national strategy to deter wildlife crimes and engage the communities in sustainable activities. This amounts to decades of failure to protect biodiversity. In total in Cameroon, 278 Great Apes and almost 400 animals belonging to threatened species are cared for amongst Ape Action Africa, SanagaYong Chimpanzee Rescue Sanctuary and the Limbe Wildlife Centre. Altogether, our organisations have accumulated 73 years of experience. We provide job to 132 nationals, and our livelihood projects benefit 3,300 community members. We welcome 55,000 visitors, 15 Cameroonian students or volunteers, and 50 international students volunteers each year! Given the level of economic, temporal and emotional investment required for this enterprise, all 3 of us are deeply affected by the current crisis. Today, emphasis must be placed on the fact all these animals (that belong to the wild) are a symbol of the failure of wildlife conservation, and by extension, the dramatic way natural ecosystems have been treated over the past decades. National efforts from the states and other civil society organisations are necessary now to provide the means to secure the animal care standards and keep rehabilitation and conservation work going. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, we all need to understand that the sixth massive extinction
that is ongoing is not something humankind will go through by doing nothing. Who remembers about the Amazon burning, about the invasion of indigenous people lands? While reports emphasize that deforestation is accelerating amid the pandemic3,4,5, COVID-19 now risks decimating Amazon tribes and culture6! We hear a lot of words but see much fewer actions. On a more positive note, we have been able to work silently on our island of peace and safety. We revealed the 3 best workers of 2019, based on their dedication and excellence in their job. We also transferred another 50 parrots to the large rehabilitation aviary and made steps to establish the pilot soft release programme in the Limbe Botanical Garden. Hence, we must start releasing the individuals that are good flyers and fit to survive in the wild. We designed a 54m3 aviary that can be used to release flocks of 25 individuals over a 6-8 weeks soft release process. It will help us
set the methodology, will reduce our population density and drastically decrease individual stress. It will also benefit our capacity to face the threat of the Covid-19 by reducing the costs of food, medicine, and workload which amount to $450 per week. Three chimps, Ghaa, Ngambe and Mayos, will finally enjoy a safe and well-enriched enclosure in the new special care and rehabilitation section for disabled adult chimps. This 3-month project is finally complete! Unfortunately, it will probably be the last major infrastructure project for 2020. But this precisely illustrates what we stand for in these difficult moments: maintaining and improving the welfare of all of our animals. Their happiness is (y)our happiness in this lockdown. Stay safe and healthy. For our 455 animals and 40 staff members need it more than ever, I thank you for your unfailing support With very best wishes, Limbe, 30 April 2020
Guillaume LE FLOHIC LWC Manager, Pandrillus Foundation 3 Despite COVID,
Amazon deforestation races higher, Mongabay, 11 April 2020
4 â€˜We are
on the eve of a genocideâ€™: Brazil urged to save Amazon tribes from Covid-19, The Guardian UK, 3 May 2020
Amazon deforestation could trigger new pandemics, experts warn amid fears over Brazilian land ownership law, The Independent UK, 1 May 2020 6 Sadly, Antonio BolĂvar, shaman in the spellbinding film Embrace of the Serpent dedicated to lost Amazonian cultures, and a member of the Huitoto indigenous people from the Amazon died from coronavirus.
April 2020 Highlights
□ Established a 24-measure Emergency Action Plan vs. COVID-19 to face the pandemic and continue our conservation work □ Revealed the 3 best workers of 2019 □ 210 African grey parrots are now ready to be released back into the wild □ Completed the re-structuration of the Special Care and Rehabilitation Section for disabled chimpanzees □ Built several roofs made of palm tree leaves on the African grey parrot rehabilitation aviary □ Launched a new fundraising campaign to Help protect our rescued animals during COVID-19 □ Media coverage: 5 international and local reports made, incl. Reuters
Achievements April 2020 & Objectives May 2020 1. Pandrillus-GoC Partnership & Public Relations Funders
â–¡ Established a 24-measure Emergency Action Plan through 5 Actions aimed at achieving 12 objectives to face the pandemic and its consequences on economy, social and human wellbeing, while pursuing our conservation efforts (Image 1) EDUCATION & INSPIRATION 8% PROTECTION & BIOSECURITY 18%
CONSERVATION & REHABILITATION 16%
SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES 10%
PURSUE CONSERVATION EFFORTS 24% FACING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC 76% SECURING ANIMAL CARE STANDARDS 48%
Image 1. Proportion of the budget allocated to the 5 actions and their associated goal to achieve each of the 12 objectives of the Emergency Action Plan
â–Ą Revealed the 2019 best workers of the Limbe Wildlife centre (Image 2) 1st best worker: Victor Veseke Njonje, Pandrillus Field Operation Assistant Manager, Chimp Head caretaker, started in 1986: for his dedication, rigour and indefectibility 2nd best worker: Killi Matute Stephen, Head of Quarantine, Responsible for the African grey parrot rehabilitation programme, started in 2002: for his engagement, seriousness and adaptability to new protocols 3rd best worker: Aforlica Vallarine Njiyang, Construction Manager, started in 2011: for his leadership, deliverability and reliability
Image 2. From left to left to right: Killi Matute Stephen, Victor Veseke Njonje and Aforlica Vallarine Njiyang, the 3 best workers of 2019. May 2020 objectives: â–Ą Validate internal rules and regulations (pending) â–Ą Review the proposal of the national strategy to rehabilitate and release the African grey parrots
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2. Population management & Animal welfare Funders
Ongoing activities □ Maintained frequency and diversity of enrichments in each section
Specific activities □ Mandrill: Experimented the use of wood shaving in the enclosure as a new enrichment (Image 3) □ Putty-nosed monkey: Continued to integrate Bamenda, Eboti, and Tanyi to the Putty-nosed monkey group: introduced to 3 adult females Mudemba, Osher and Motumba (Image 4) □ Savannah-dwelling guenon enclosure: Re-installed and repaired all structural enrichments in the enclosure (Images 5-6) □ Vet cares (April 2020): ◌ 104 Primate individuals treated; 7 anaesthesia performed; 21 individual sampled (2 blood samples for haematology analysis, 22 faecal samples for coprology analysis); 19 contraceptions; 0 identification with a microchip; 2 laceration repairs; 1 minor surgery; 73 drug therapies: 81% dietary supplements, 10% antibiotics, 5% anti-inflammatories, 3% arthritis supplements, 1% antiparasitic; 3 health checks: Chimpanzee (2), Mandrill (1); 1 death: Drill (Manyaka, young adult male; lethal injury after a fight with young adult male Bajou) ◌ African grey parrots: 37 health checks performed (Images 7-8); 9 individuals received intensive care treatment with 3rd generation antibiotic treatment and special diet; 3 deaths
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Image 3. The wood shaving is a good Image 4. Tanyi and Eboti are being enrichment to stimulate foraging integrated into their new group of puttybehaviours such as digging, scrappingâ€Ś nosed monkeys.
Image 5. Re-enrichment and repairs in Image 6. Patas monkey Frida uses the the savannah-dwelling guenon branch of a mango tree branch hanged in enclosure. the enclosure.
Image 7. A team of 4 is required to Image 8. Blood samples are taken (0.5mL) to collect all indexes and samples on the perform blood smear to measure the stress African grey parrots during health index. checks.
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May 2020 objectives: □ Continue with the ongoing activities □ Putty-nosed monkey: Continue to integrate Bamenda, Eboti, and Tanyi to the Puttynosed monkey group □ African grey parrots: Continue to provide special care for the last individuals with difficulties improving their body conditions □ Vet cares: 3rd quarantine health check: Drill (Mbigou, juvenile male); General health checks: African grey parrots (3-4); Contraception: Drills (10) and Guenons (4)
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3. Wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release programme Funders
Arrival & quarantine □ Received 2 vulnerable Home's hinged tortoises □ Received 3 immature black kites
Behavioural rehabilitation □ None
Social rehabilitation □ African grey parrot: Introduced 19 individuals to the group of 191 in the new rehabilitation aviary, reaching 210 individuals ready to be released back into the wild (Images 9-10) □ Drill: Continued the social rehabilitation of the juvenile male Drill Mbigou with adult female Jafita
Image 9. Killi Matute thoroughly spread Image 10. Two-hundred and ten (210) the rich and diverse food in all feeders African grey parrots are now in the on platforms and bamboo. rehabilitation aviary ready to be released.
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Release (ecological & environmental rehabilitation) □ None
May 2020 objectives: □ African Grey Parrots: Continue the rehabilitation process of the rescued individuals □ Drill: Transfer juvenile Mbigou and his surrogate female Jafita in a satellite cage of the Drill enclosure
4. Infrastructures and development| Material & Equipment Funders
□ Completed the re-structuration of the Special Care and Rehabilitation Section for disabled chimpanzees (Images 11-18) □ Built several roofs made of palm tree leaves on the African grey parrot rehabilitation aviary (Images 19-20) □ Installed several bamboo screens to increase privacy around and between the 2 sections of savannah-dwelling guenon enclosure (Images 21-22)
Image 11. Preparation of the bamboo Image 12. Wire mesh screen in front of the new Special Care and additional protection. Rehabilitation Section.
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Image 13. Building drainage chamber and Image 14. Keeper door installation to tank for connected to the night den. the enclosure.
Image 15. Connecting the electric fence.
Image 16. Final view of the inside of the enclosure for disabled chimpanzees. The structural enrichments have been designed and made to fit the chimpâ€™s capacity.
Image 17. Plants have been planted to Image 18. Bamboo screens will provide provide a natural visual barrier to visitors. privacy to the disabled chimps.
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Image 19. Installing palm leave mat on the roof of the African grey parrot rehabilitation aviary. The work is made by Caleb Ngombe a local expert from Mokunda village.
Image 20. The Limbe Wildlife Centre is engaged in promoting traditional expertise that are environmentally friendly and benefit the local community.
Image 21. Partition of part of the enclosure Image 22. View of the finished visual with bamboo screens. barrier in the savannah-dwelling guenon enclosure. May 2020 objectives: â–Ą Build the first soft release aviary for the African grey parrots â–Ą Start the maintenance of the Chimp mainland night den
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5. Community Conservation, Environmental education & Ecotourism Funders
DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, ALL EDUCATION ACTIVITIES WITH CHILDREN HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED □ School outreach programme: Suspended the 2019-2020 programme □ Saturday Nature Club: Suspended the 2019-2020 Nature Club □ Eco-guide Training Workshop: Conducted a 4 weeks training for 11 participants willing to become accredited eco-guide for the Limbe Wildlife Centre □ Community-based Green Economy: 15 ex-hunter members sustainably harvesting wild herbaceous plants: 799.5 kg of Aframomum stems and 254 kg of Costus stems; 47 women members harvesting crop by-product: 855 kg of cassava leaves, 3,605 kg of papaya leaves, 3,811 kg of potato leaves, 330 kg of invasive Trumpet wood shoots, corresponding to 74 trees hand-cut; 990,010 XAF (€1,511) paid directly to the local community association this month; 3,655,455 XAF (€5,581) contributed to alleviate local poverty in 2020.
May 2020 objectives: □ Continue with ongoing programs □ Evaluate each participant and give certificates to the successful ones
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6. Wildlife conservation research & Health monitoring Funders
Ongoing activities □ Behavioural monitoring of the endangered Chimpanzees: assess the Mainland group cohesion and individual welfare before, during and after social integration of Chinoise (subadult female) □ Recovery monitoring of the rescued endangered African grey parrots: Continued to collect data during health checks and through direct observation □ Establishing Haematological Reference Values for the endangered Drill: Continued to build the dataset of haematological data extracted from 18 years of analysis (2002-2019), corresponding to 199 samples, and including a total of 21 haematological parameters.
Activity achievement □ None
Data analysis □ Recovery monitoring of the rescued endangered African grey parrots: Performed preliminary analyses of the success of the rehabilitation process since Nov 2019: The total mortality rate was 30.2%, of which 84.3% within the first two months. 93.6% of the birds survived after 2 months. No death was recorded after 4 months. Less than 1% of the birds that have been transferred to the large aviary died. Without surprise, the individuals who arrive with the lowest body conditions had the highest mortality rate. This underlines the importance of training the authorities to provide basics care after the seizure and then immediately provide care upon arrival. The mortality rate was also the highest within immatures. The stress index appeared to be negatively correlated with the body condition index. Stress can be a result of the trauma
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after the act of poaching and transport, but also of captivity. During the quarantine period, stress level appeared to be the highest in immatures, which suggest that they might be less resilient to the conditions of captivity. We will need to address that issue, and possibly adapt our quarantine facilities and/or protocols. All the transfers to the large rehabilitation aviary occurred within 4 months after arrival when the parrot's body and feather conditions were good, and 61.6% of the transfers occurred within 3 months. Overall, our survival rate was high (69.3%), which is likely a result of the improvements we have made in the past months to upgrade our medical and rehabilitation procedures, but also of the very rich and diverse diet, which cost more than $1.5 per individual per week.
May 2020 objectives: □ Continue with the above ongoing activities
7. Capacity building & staff empowerment □ Eco-guide Training Workshop: continued the programme which focused on the missions of the LWC, past, present and future activities run by sections, conservation status and ecology of the species cared for at LWC, coordinated by Ateh Wilson (Head of Education Dept) □ Continued to draft the new manual of standard operation procedures (SOPs) for the African grey parrots’ rehabilitation and monitoring □ Workshop: Recording daily data on animals: focus on respiratory symptoms to detect early stage of Covid-19 in Great Ape population, by Jonathan Kang (Head Keeper and Gorilla Keeper)
May 2020 objectives: □ Continue with the above ongoing activities □ Evaluate eco-guide skills and give certificates □ Organise workshop: How to efficiently disinfect animal infrastructures? Protocol to use soap, bleach and other disinfectants, by Dr John Kiyang (Head Veterinarian)
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8. Communication & Visibility □ Digital communication (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter): the month of April was consistent for our social media reach; however, our Instagram took off a little bit better than other months with a doubling of our monthly number of followers. We also now count over 13,000 followers on Facebook and a total of over 20,000 followers across all platforms! This makes quite the big family and we hope to continue to see it grow with time. □ Fundraising: Launched a new fundraising campaign to Help protect our rescued animals during COVID-19 (Image 23)
Image 23. As the COVID-19 pandemic is among us, the Limbe Wildlife Centre needs your help in this unruly time, not only to survive, but to keep our conservation and protection efforts going: life as usual may have stopped, but illegal wildlife trade and poaching have not. □ Media coverage: 5 international and local reports made Several reports highlighted the negative impact the pandemic is having on the financial resources and daily operations at the Limbe Wildlife Centre: o Newspaper: Limbe Wildlife Centre closes door to visitors, non-essential staff, The Sun, 22 April 2020 o Newspaper: Fight against COVID-19 shuts down Limbe Wildlife Centre, The Post, 29 April 2020
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o Newspaper: Limbe Wildlife Centre shuts doors over coronavirus, The Guardian Post, 29 April 2020 o Online report: The rescued apes facing a double threat from COVID-19, Reuters, 29 April 2020 o Online article: Cameroon sanctuary for rescued apes threatened by COVID19, Reuters, 29 April 2020; this article has been widely reused internationally: o
Covid-19 ameaça santuário de macacos resgatados de Camarões, Noticias, 29 April 2020 (Brazil)
Coronavirus, nel Limbe Wildlife centinaia di scimmie salvate dai bracconieri a rischio, Teleambiente, 1 May 2020 (Italy)
Global lockdowns spur worrying uptick in wildlife poaching, 1 May 2020, Daily Sabah (Turkey)
Santuário de primatas resgatados em Camarões, na África, pode fechar devido à crise do coronavirus, Conexao planeta, 6 May 2020 (Brazil)
May 2020 objectives: □ Continue advocating the missions of the LWC within the Central African Conservation Landscape in Cameroon
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9. Revenues generated □ Entrance fees (April 2020): FCFA 0 (0visitors; 0% children, 0% Cameroonians) due to the closure of the Limbe Wildlife Centre to visitors 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 Apr-19 May-19 Jun-19 Adult Nationals
Jul-19 Aug-19 Sep-19 Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 Children Nationals
Figure 1. Visitor statistics April 2019- April 2020
□ Fundraising: Sold 102 t-shirts and raised $1,924 thanks to the 67 generous donors who participated in our online T-shirt campaign to support the national African grey parrot rehabilitation and release programme □ Emergency funds (April 2020): Raised $2,257 thanks to 46 generous donors through our website and $1,335 thanks to 19 donors through the GoFunMe fundraising platform; received emergency support for $22,700 from 2 institutional donors, and $5,000 emergency fund from PASA international. The total of funds raised in April is $31,292 (17.2M FCFA). It represents 31% recovery of the revenue loss subsequently to the pandemic and counts for 24% of the funds necessary to accomplish our goals. Although encouraging, we must continue our efforts and raise more fund to safeguard the Limbe Wildlife Centre over the next few months.
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