One of BI’s main mammal projects is to compare mammal species composition in primary and secondary forests. Deforestation and bush-meat hunting are the primary threats to Equatorial Guinea’s megafauna and these human activities are concentrated around easily accessible areas, resulting in more impacted and degraded forests. BI’s work is focused on understanding how mammal species change in response to habitat degradation and to determine which species are most sensitive and may need more conservation action. BI is conducting this project on both mainland Equatorial Guinea and Bioko Island.
Preliminary work supports the prediction that primary forests act as safe havens for rare species such as large ungulates and Congo clawless river otters. Secondary forests have heavier human pressure from hunting and logging, which may be responsible for the lack of large mammal in disturbed forests. The landscape in Equatorial Guinea is quickly changing due to development, and this project will be used to identify regions most in need for protection and translated to officials for conservation action.