ERuDeF Institute research intern, Ngoufack Carlos, has said the conversion of forests to farmland, hunting and unsustainable farming carried out by communities adjacent to the newly created Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Lebialem Division, has fragmented further the Cross River Gorilla habitat and could lead to the extinction of this critically endangered species if urgent actions are not taking.

By Ita Nawom

Ngoulac made this observation while defending his end of internship research work at the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies (ERuDeF Institute) in Buea, Southwest Region.

Carried out in partial fulfillment towards the completion of a Master of Science thesis, Ngoufack’s internship research was focused on “The Impact of Human Activities on the Cross River Gorilla Conservation in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (THWS) South West Cameroon”.

Following his findings, the research student recommended that more community awareness and education should be intensified and sustainable ways of farming promoted in order to curb the destruction of the Cross River Gorilla habitat.

Chairing the defence, the Provost and Vice President in charge of Academics at the St. Monica University, Professor Ndeh Ningo, lauded the candidate for choosing a salient area for research. He cautioned him to work more closely with his supervisor and in so doing bring out clearly his contribution to scientific knowledge.

The examiner, Dr. Fidel Tanju, emphasized that a clear link between human activities and their ensuing impact on the biological populations be established through proper exploitation of parametric data.

Ngoufac’s research is one of the many inquiries which have been made and continue to becarried out in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary under the ERuDeF Institute Research Mentorship Programme.

Mbunya Francis Nkemnyi, a research fellow in the Vrije Universiteit Brussels is carrying out a PhD research on:“The Environment-Development Nexus and Great Apes Conservation in Western Cameroon: The Case of the Proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary”, while Sebastian Linarz of the Bonn University, is equally carrying outa PhD research on the “Feeding and Nesting Ecology of the Cross River Gorilla and the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee” under the same Research Mentorship Programme of the Institute.