Cameroon’s latest Ramsar Sites
The government of Cameroon has increased its number of Wetlands of International Importance by designating two rich new sites for the Ramsar List. As summarized from the Ramsar Information Sheets by Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Africa, Ms Ako Charlotte Eyong, the new site called Partie Camerounaise du fleuve Ntem (39,848 hectares, 02°22'45"N 010°33'13"E) in the South Region is a permanent freshwater river surrounded by marshes, trees and shrubs. As part of the biogeographic region of three countries: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, this site is significantly rich in wildlife biodiversity. It supports over 80 species of large- and medium-sized mammals with 18 species of primates, 13 of which are considered threatened, including the endangered Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) as well as the critically endangered Western Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla). 28 species of bats have been identified with 2 endemic species: Nycteris major and Hipposiderus curtus. It also supports 1,500 plant species as well as 249 fish species with 4 endemic species, and serves as spawning grounds for several migrating fish species from the Atlantic Ocean. It is a source of livelihood for the resident population who carry out subsistence fishing, agriculture and the harvesting of non-timber forest products. Ramsar Site no. 2067.
The second new site, Zone Humide d'Ebogo in the Centre Region (3,097 hectares, 03°23'09"N 011°29'20"E) is a seasonally flooded freshwater swamp forest. It is a biodiversity rich rain forest which supports several IUCN Red-Listed plant species including the African Pearwood (Baillonella toxisperma), Sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum) and Ebony (Diospyros crassiflora). It also supports nationally important animal species such as the Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus)and the African Rock Python (Python sebae) as well as over 100 waterbird species. The site supports a rich diversity of non-timber forest products which are very important to the local population both as a source of food and as a cultural heritage. The temporarily flooded marshes serve as food and breeding ground for waterbirds. It is an important ecotourism site in the area, and a management plan is in preparation. Ramsar Site no. 2068.
Cameroon presently has 7 Wetlands of International Importance, covering a surface area of 827,060 hectares.