The Cape Three Points Forest Reserve in the Ahanta West District in the Western Region, considered to be a Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA), has been under serious threat due illegal human activities.
As a GSBA, the only one very close to the sea, there are certain distinct fauna and flora (animal and tree) species, such as monkeys and birds in the forest reserve.
Some efforts have been made to salvage the situtaion.For instance ,the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded and US Forest Service-managed Coastal Sustainable Landscape Project (CSLP) organised a local event at Cape Three Points, a predominantly farming and fishing community, to support efforts by various stakeholders to better manage the protected areas (PAs)/reserve.
According to the researchers, “Cape Three Point Forest Reserve still habours a vital population of primates that are of conservation interest including the Endangered (White-Naped Mangabey )and vulnerable (White-tighed colobus)therefore recommended that strict protection of the reserve is crucial for survival of the ramnant primate population”.
A primate survey in the foreset reserve carried out by Nutsuakor Mac Elikem ,and Samuel Afutor of the Department of Wildlife and Range Management ,College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST),revealed nine(9) troops of primates were recorded after covering a total of 30.8KM .These constituted 33 individuals from four(4) species.
These are Lowe’s monkey (Cercopithecus lowei) , spot-nosed monkey(cercopithecus petaurista),white-tighed colobus (colobus vellerosus) , and White-Naped mangabey(Cerecocebus lunulatus).
The researchers say, “the lack of recent primate extinctions is fostering complacency in primate research and this may allow the taxa to become extinct despite received much attention from conservation measures in the near past “.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) globally more than half of the World’s Primates are at risk of extinction
Primates play crucial roles in ecology as seed dispersers for many important tree/shrub species and responsible for biomass of all frugivorous (fruit eating) species found within tropical rainforests.
Ecological role of primate is imperative for the functioning of ecosystems which supports human survival.
Primates carry relatively similar biological traits like human beings therefore used for practical medical research such as testing the efficacy of medicines produced by Pharmaceutical companies before released for human consumption.
The Presbyterian University College, Ghana (PUCG) with funding from Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund just ended a 16 months project on Conservation of endangered Primate Species in Atewa, Cape three Points and Tano -Off Forest reserve.
Source:enghana.com /Annor Obed