Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is an internationally renowned conservation NGO that has a clear mission to save wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. WCS has been in active in Gabon since the 1980’s, and started by supporting pioneering studies of forest ecology. WCS’ support for a nation-wide biodiversity evaluation of the most intact areas of forest in Gabon, formed the basis for the creation of 13 national parks in 2002, representing all major ecosystems.
Today, WCS has broadened it’s activities from pure research and monitoring. Our strategy is based around three approaches:
- Landscape-level conservation in two high-priority landscapes - the Congo Basin Coast and the Ivindo-Lope-Chaillu massif. We work from field sites in 6 national parks in these landscapes to support conservation and management in at the landscape scale necessary for effectively conserving endangered flagship species including forest elephant, western lowland gorilla, central chimpanzee, humpbacked whales, manatees, dolphins and turtles.
- Helping resolving critical challenges for wildlife conservation in Gabon, through technical support, capacity building and targeted research on novel conservation approaches, including:
- Wildlife management in forestry concessions
- Novel techniques for monitoring wildlife populations and human impact, for example through acoustic monitoring
- Improving park management effectiveness, particularly through law enforcement monitoring
- Managing fisheries impacts on turtles and marine mammals
- Institutionalising and diffusing the lessons learned from our field activities in Gabon and further afield through the development of a professional training programme for conservation practitioners. This is organised from our purpose-built training centre 'CEDAMM' in Lopé National Park.