West African Primate Conservation Action

Camera trap mangabey

West African Primate Conservation Action works in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to protect the endemic primates of West Africa, particularly the critically endangered Roloway monkey (Cercopithecus roloway) and the endangered White Naped Mangabey (Cercocebus lunulatus). This is achieved through three key activities:

  1. WAPCA manages primate rescue and ex-situ breeding facilities at Accra Zoo and Kumassi Zoo. The two centres hold populations of mangabey that are managed as part of the European Ex Situ Programme.

  2. WAPCA works with local communities to protect the 2,500 hectare community owned rainforest, Kwabre through establishing a CREMA (Community Resource Management Area). The CREMA supports patrols to reduce illegal logging, hunting and mining, a tree nursery for reforestation and creates sustainable livelihoods by developing organic cocoa and coconut oil production and processing. Kwabre forest is where WAPCA rediscovered the Roloway Monkey which was thought to be extinct in Ghana.

  3. WAPCA undertakes field surveys to monitor primate populations and to locate additional populations of primates.

I have been supporting WAPCA since 2016 and in 2018 was delighted to be appointed to the WAPCA European board. I am also a member of the WAPCA Research Group.

I have co-supervised MRes students from the University of Chester in 2017, 2018 and 2019 undertaking surveys in Kwabre Forest, Cape Three Point Reserve and Ankasa National Park. In 2018, the surveys found a previously unknown population of White Naped Mangabey in Cape Three Point Reserve. This is an extremely important discovery for this species.

Zoo and Wildlife Solutions and WAPCA have been awarded a Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation grant in order to deve;op WAPCA's work. The grant will:

  • Fund the creation and operation of a new CREMA with the communities around Cape Three Point to protect the mangabeys. A project officer has been hired and the patrols are active.

  • Fund surveys in three further forests where it is possible that threatened primates may be found but are currently unprotected. The surveys will be undertaken by three students from UK universities and 3 Ghanaian students that I will co-supervise.

  • Fund me to lead a team of Yorkshire Wildlife Park staff to visit Ghana and assist with animal care and welfare at Accra and Kumassi zoos.

  • Fund improvements to the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre. In 2020 new service buildings were built to allow improved hygiene and biosecurity and in 2021 a new quarantine block will be built to house newly rescued animals.

we are actively looking for an academic partner and postgraduate students who are available to be in the field in Ghana between February and May. If you are interested please get in touch.