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Large, terrestrial baboon-like monkey. Restricted to Nigeria, SW Cameroon and the island of Bioko. In Nigeria the drill, Mandrillus leucophaeus, occurs only in the rainforests of Cross River State including Cross River National Park (both the Oban and Okwangwo Divisions), the Mbe Mountains and Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. The drill is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Due to heavy hunting pressure to supply the commercial bushmeat trade the drill is increasingly rare and fragmented. Hunters often use dogs to drive the drills up trees from where they are easily shot.
Creation of Protected Areas. WCS supported the creation of new protected areas including Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary (2000) and Takamanda National Park (2008).
Law Enforcement and Protected Area Management. There is little wildlife left in Nigeria today outside of protected areas, providing support to strengthen the management of these areas is the main focus of WCS in Nigeria. For unless we improve law enforcement within protected areas, and reduce levels of hunting, logging, livestock grazing and encroachment, wildlife will not survive in Nigeria.
Community Conservation. WCS fully recognizes that it is essential to involve local people in conservation efforts to save the drill. In the Mbe Mountains we are working with nine local communities to secure local land tenure rights and improve local livelihoods.
Conservation Education and Raising Levels of Awareness within local communities is essential for long-term success and a vitally important part of our work. Our conservation education outreach program is based around school conservation clubs and includes regular field trips and exchange visits as well as a popular weekly radio drama show and the use of wildlife film shows to spread conservation messages within the area.
Alternative livelihoods are promoted to reduce pressure on endangered species and the remaining forests. WCS provides training to boost local incomes and to reduce levels of dependence on the forest and on hunting. Our approach currently focuses on making existing cocoa farms more sustainable and reducing rates of forest loss in key corridor areas, as well as bee keeping, improved goat husbandry and the rearing of African giant snails. An important part of our approach involves working with women’s groups to improve the value of bush mango.