Community Wildlife Project
The Community Wildlife Project aims to reduce commercial bushmeat hunting through community involvement. By involving local citizen scientists in wildlife monitoring and environmental education, we hope to reduce the impacts of unsustainable hunting and, in the process, develop useful tools and resources for similar initiatives.
Solutions to Reduce Commercial Hunting
In addition to testing whether villager involvement in monitoring can reduce commercial hunting, the project will evaluate (a) the effectiveness of villagers as ”scientists”; (b) the magnitude of the village hunting halo; and, (c) elucidate relationships between village population and wealth and hunting intensity and animal abundance.
We are assessing village socioeconomic factors, bushmeat hunting activities, and the current status of wildlife populations to evaluate the drivers of unsustainable hunting in the Ivindo-Minkébé region of Gabon.
Environmental education activities, with the help of village parabiologists, increase village awareness about a range of topics from ecosystem services to sustainability.
Our bottom-up approach to wildlife conservation empowers the community by directly involving local parabiologists in wildlife monitoring and awareness raising activities in their own villages.
Our online toolkit features educational resources, such as lesson plans on a range of environmental topics, and a user-friendly tool for summarizing and visualizing wildlife data.
The CWP team
Alex Ebang Mbele and Guillaume Minie Minie are on the ground in Gabon working with communities and parabiologists, making the CWP a reality.
Alex is a Gabonese ecologist and graduate of the USFWS MENTOR FOREST program, with a Master’s degree in forestry. Alex oversees ecological aspects of the field research program, such as transect methodologies, and assists with training parabiologists and implementing the environmental education lessons.
Guillaume is a Gabonese socio-economist with a Master’s degree in sociology from the Université des sciences et techniques de Masuku (USTM). Guillaume oversees the socioeconomic and bushmeat surveys as part of the CWP research program, and also assists with training and environmental education.