Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Equatorial Guinea's Biodiversity Featured in Audubon Magazine

Audubon Magazine recently carried a feature story on the captivating biodiversity found in Equatorial Guinea's Island of Bioko. The article highlighted the island's one of a kind bid species and scientific efforts to catalogue previously unknown species in a recent expedition.

The expedition was led by the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program, Equatorial Guinea's oldest conservation organisation, which is operated by the National University of Equatorial Guinea and Drexel University in the U.S.

The magazine reported that Equatorial Guinea is the ideal place for biologists due to its mainland jungles that boast rare animals like picathartes, chimpanzees, elephants, and gorillas. "Bioko is even more intriguing. Islands aren't usually flush with primates or forest birds, which are unlikely to cross open waters and colonize new shores. Bioko, however, was part of the mainland until 12,000 years ago, when rising sea levels cut off what had been a peninsula. It's an ark whose residents have evolved completely isolated from their counterparts on the mainland. Today at least two of the island's birds - Fernando Po Batis and Fernando Po Speirops - are found only here and some of its three dozen or so avian subspecies may well be unique species worthy of protection."

In addition to the study of indigenous bird species only found in Equatorial Guinea, the program tracks primates and marine turtles in an effort to catalogue the country's rich biodiversity.

Equatorial Guinea is a member of the Commission for the Conservation of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (COMIFAC). As part of the government's efforts to preserve the country's ecosystems and biodiversity, Equatorial Guinea participates in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEO) and is a signatory of the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).