CERCO‐NEWS VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3 M A R C H 2 0 1 1 INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Birder’s paradise 1 Birder’s paradise We’ve always been very found. The field station From the 2 proud of Rhoko forest both itself is located in Director as a nature‐lover’s primary lowland forest destination, but also as an that contains a mixture Report time 2 outstanding site for of West African and ecological research. Visits Congo forest birds. from knowledgeable From my perspective Needs replacing 2 specialists continue to the main attraction is confirm the exceptional the nearly complete quality of the forest. Dr. bird community present Scott Robinson is Professor in the ‘core area’ that Hunting for 3 of Ecosystems Conservation surrounds the field hunters at the University of Florida, station. and he joined us for a brief, All of the large Like Columbus! 4 but very active visit in hornbills are present March. Here he takes up the and most are story: exceedingly abundant, a ‘I visited Rhoko to help sure sign of an intact New kid, old hand 4 my graduate student start bird community. More than during the mid‐day lull when her programme, and to 50 hornbills flew over just as nothing is singing. All you explore sites for future I began writing this note. have to do is find a flock and Full bore ahead 5 research projects. I am also a Black guineafowl are follow it for an hour or two birdwatcher, so I couldnt routinely seen near the field and you will be certain to resist the temptation to station as well, although I see dozens of species. One spend some time looking for did not see them myself this flock I followed had at least Strength in 5 diversity new birds on this my first time. 37 species! Many other bird trip to this part of the world. Most of the birds in the species gather at ant My specialty is bird forest seem to hang out in swarms to eat the insects Want to be a part 6 community ecology and I mixed‐species flocks, which flushed by the ants. of it ? was very excited by what I are amongst the most There is an excellent and amazing I have ever well‐maintained trail system seen in my research. In that enabled me to walk for these flocks some hours without any risk of species seem to getting lost. The field station Scott paid his specialize in catching itself is comfortable and well respects in the insects flushed by other run. There is a mix of birds in exchange for researchers and a dedicated village to Chief Owai giving loud alarm calls staff from various villages that warn the members nearby and from other parts of the flock (the of the world. ‘beaters’) when Primate research is what predators attack. got this place started, but These flocks are easy to there is outstanding find, which makes bird potential for bird watching watching excellent, even and bird research as well.’
PAGE 2 From the Director Where do you go in For me, my long times national conference, all your mind when you want spent in the field were came to the surface in the to get away from it all? especially satisfying past month above my The beach? Shopping? The because my profession planning, coordination, ski‐slopes? For me it’s and my hobby were one and management duties. always the rainforest. and the same thing. These are highly satisfying After years of fieldwork But as the Director of a tasks to be fully engaged deep in the heart of conservation organisation, in, as ultimately I know pristine jungles I know I now delegate the they all have an important there’s no place where I fieldwork, as I have to role to play in bringing can feel more at ease with ensure that my experience about the protection of myself and my is used in an oversight the rainforest that I love. Claire Coulson surroundings. function where I can make But isn’t there time for CERCOPAN Director So I have to admit more of a difference. relaxing journeys into the feeling a pang of, dare I That oversight role can rainforest? I wish…. for say it, envy for those who be very varied and at now those opportunities have recently been able to times really quite will still just have to be in spend quality time in consuming. Recruitment, my mind! Rhoko either to indulge a fundraising, completing hobby (see lead article) or our Annual Report, and for their professions (p. 3). coordinating an inter‐ Report time Our 2010 Annual readers of CERCO‐NEWS Report has been published you will have seen the and is available for news as it happened. download from our The ‘About CERCOPAN’ website: section at the beginning www.cercopan.org will give you a quick The heart of the report overview of how our is devoted to a description programme integrates of our programme together, and just how activities for the year in vital it is. community development We have a detailed “...we are very & forest protection, financial report near the keen to welcome primate conservation & end, and finally a Thank anyone with good rehabilitation, and You page for our sponsors DIY skills who can education. For regular – YOU! volunteer time with us...” Needs replacing We bid farewell to two Dallas Buleziuk has with the luxury tourist of our long‐term been our Construction accommodation h e volunteers on the same Coordinator since June painstakingly built in Rhoko day in March. Rachel 2010, which has involved with the attention of a Hemingway had been with a variety of tasks from craftsman. us since February 2010 in overseeing the building of C o n s t ru c t i o n a n d the role of Community a pig‐sty to fine‐tuning maintenance work is Conservation Manager, our solar equipment to constantly required in our primarily working on the managing the delivery of operation, and we are very Eco‐lodge by Dallas alternative livelihoods a new roof for our keen to welcome anyone programme in Iko Esai and Community Centre. with good DIY skills who Agoi. Her replacement has Dallas leaves behind a can volunteer time with us arrived (see below). lasting record of his stay to fill this gap.
VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3 PAGE 3 Hunting for hunters The more remote purposes of their research, taste of Periwinkle which we corners of Iko Esai’s and have just returned from gladly accepted. community forest have long a joint reconnaissance trip, On day 2 we been the subject of accompanied by encountered two more speculation. In the map CERCOPAN’s patrol. Carrie putty‐nosed troops and below, the Research Area in reports: found forest elephant Carrie and Sagan setting green and the Conservation ‘Sagan and I were footprints and dung! out with patrol Area (white to the south excited for our 4 day trek between the two rivers) are into the Conservation Area ‐ a 1‐2 day trek from the a first for both of us. Sagan village and therefore less was interested in checking attractive to hunters. On the out potential red‐capped other hand with 24‐hour mangabey release sites patrolling to enforce the (part of her dissertation ban on hunting primates research) and I wanted to centred on the Core Area scope out the hunting sheds (brown), it might be possible and mingle with hunters as that hunters would part of my research project. deliberately choose the The forest was amazing remoter areas. and our three guides (newly In the last two years hired patrol from Agoi and thanks to grants from IPS Owai), Arikpo, Nelson, and and IUCN we have been John provided excellent At our next shed we able to survey this region to food and care throughout shared the stay with 2 understand the primate the 40km trip. different hunters and they diversity better, and also offered us cooked “On the first day On the first day we increase the amount of heard a troop of putty‐ procupine. We were also we heard a troop of patrolling there. Now in putty‐nosed nosed monkeys shouting offered roasted snails which 2011 with our patrol staff alarm calls at us and we also tasted just like beef jerkey. monkeys shouting numbers at six, we can saw evidence of red river The porcupine was served in alarm calls at us make frequent excursions hogs. At our first sleeping a soup so although and we also saw for both purposes. shed we were joined by 8 everyone tells me it tastes Recently‐arrived Ph. D other people (2 hunters, 4 very sweet it only tasted of evidence of red river students Carrie Vath and women collecting wild palm oil (the soup’s base) to hogs.….. On day 2 Sagan Friant will be making salad, and 2 boys collecting me. I had a wonderful time we encountered many trips into the periwinkle). The women and look forward to my next two more putty‐ Conservation Area for the offered me and Sagan a forest adventure!’ nosed troops and found forest elephant footprints and dung! ” Iko Esai’s Land Use Management Plan showing the Research and Conservation Areas to the East
PAGE 4 Like Columbus! Our veterinary function And at the same time orphaned pets to go to. is right at the front line of our work with enforcement On this basis, grants to our programme. Assuring agencies to confiscate pets underwrite our vet work are excellent health care for our orphaned by the bush‐meat some of the first we hope to captive primates is an trade allows us to drive gain each year. absolute requirement if we home the message about are to continue to attract compliance with the law Columbus Zoo have just >17,000 visitors a year who banning the hunting of informed us of a generous we provide with a vital monkeys, thereby grant for 2011 that will conservation educational improving protection of wild cover the greater share of message. populations. the vet programme for the year, and sustain our long‐ But we would term strategy of building the be unable to capacity of local talent take these through international steps if we veterinary mentoring. did not have a sanctuary Columbus Zoo are one of and first‐class our most loyal supporters, assured care having also provided grants for the in 2008 and 2010. New kid, old hand BenJee Cascio has just were under the Peace Corps active participation in the arrived in Iko Esai to take programme, involving living football game every over the role of Community within a rural community evening. Conservation Manager, and with irregular power, no BenJee has experience it’s hard not to think that all piped water and only basic with alternative livelihoods his life to date has been a provisions, and he tells us it projects, and knowledge of preparation for this role. soon became his second the role and importance of Raised in Minneapolis, home. Community‐Based Organi‐ he gained a Bachelors in Quickly settled into Iko sations. Both of these Psychology, and a Masters Esai (where there is no structures are established in in Community Develop‐ power at all!) BenJee has Iko Esai, but need an ment. And with a love for taken no time to begin experienced hand to help travel, BenJee has already building the foundations of them to continue and worked overseas in China, a long‐standing relationship flourish, and be replicated Ghana, Chile, and Jamaica. with community members, in the neighbouring villages. The two years in Jamaica starting of course with We can already vouch for the fact that BenJee is a talented Blues and Jazz musician, and also well‐ versed in the West African music scene. With his guitar in trail, here’s expecting for BenJee during his a very interesting and time in Jamaica popular cultural exchange happening right now deep within the far reaches of Cross River State.
VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3 PAGE 5 Full bore ahead Hot on the heels of our community welfare. article in January The CCDC, with support celebrating a year of from our Community The existing achievements for the Conservation Manager, wrote borehole is at Community Conservation the application to the MPP9 full capacity and Development programme. An existing Committee (CCDC) in Iko borehole in the village, Esai, they have quickly provided by Concern Universal notched up another success was insufficient for the by gaining a grant from community’s needs, especially MPP9 (Micro Projects in the dry season. Programme in the 9 Niger MPP9 has approved a Delta States). modern size borehole MPP9 is a European powered by solar energy. Union initiative that Officials of MPP9 visited Iko provides around two thirds Esai and inspected the of funds for projects, with readiness for the project to the balance coming from commence. The CCDC’s Water laterite road from the village all communities and Local Sanitation sub‐committee will the way to the main road at Government Authorities. be responsible for Ibogo. Furthermore the State The aim of the grants is to maintenance of the new Electricity Agency has reduce poverty at the installation. announced its intent to extend community level, while Iko Esai is anticipating two power services out to Iko Esai. providing reforms at local even larger projects to start We’ll provide updates once government and state levels up in the coming year. these projects start up, as both for improved long‐term Approvals have been granted could be game‐changing for the accountability for for asphalting the existing community’s inhabitants. Strength in diversity “This is the It has just been Management, Veterinary sanctuaries’ representatives first time that confirmed that CERCOPAN Healthcare, and Education. present. any of the will be hosting this year’s workshops will The Management There are twenty member Pan African Sanctuary have been held workshop will be held in the sanctuaries in PASA from across Alliance (PASA) workshop in Nigeria” U.K., while the Veterinary twelve countries. Up until on Education. workshop will be in Uganda. August we will be occupied PASA is a US‐based This is the first time that any with the complex task of organisation that of the workshops will have finalising the diverse logistics coordinates an alliance of been held in Nigeria. for hosting visitors arriving primate sanctuaries across from so many other African The workshop’s locations Africa. In addition to countries. are rotated around the establishing a Code of membership countries, Conduct for its members, providing the opportunity to PASA facilitates the sharing observe a variety of of knowledge, experience sanctuaries’ work in action and expertise across while attending the workshop. sanctuaries via three annual With the education workshop workshops covering holding in August this year in Calabar, we will gain the PASA membership is chance to showcase the full range of our operational spread across 12 activities to the other countries in Africa