Protecting Liberia Forests

Source: SIDA Liberia Forests Bird

 

Liberia houses two-thirds of the Upper Guinean Rainforest, which has been classified as a biodiversity hotspot by global conservation groups. A biodiversity hotspot is a region that is rich in species that are native, both fauna and flora, and that is under threat of losing a majority of those species.

The Upper Guinean Rainforest is one of the most critically fragmented regions on the planet. Only approximately 12 percent of the original intact ecosystem remains. Liberia is home to many endemic species, such as the last remaining viable population of the Pygmy hippopotamus. It is also the last stronghold of forest elephants in West Africa. Logging operations have increased exponentially in the past few years, leaving approximately 60 percent of the country’s forests now

The spectacular biodiversity of Liberia is clearly worth protecting: the forest supports 568 species of birds, 9 of which are endangered, as well as a wide range of plant and animal life. The forest is a unique ecological niche for several rare species, such as the white-breasted guinea fowl, Jentink’s duiker (a deer-like creature, the rarest in the world), pygmy hippopotamus, Diana monkey and Liberian mongoose. Additional animal populations include the giant forest hog, chimpanzees, red colobus (a long-tailed monkey), bongo antelope, leopard and the golden cat.

By Darlington Micah

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