The Annotated Ramsar List: Cameroon


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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Cameroon on 20 July 2006. Cameroon presently has 7 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 827,060 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Barombi Mbo Crater Lake. 08/10/06; Southwest Region; 415 ha; 04°40'N 009°23'E. A deep volcanic crater lake, the site forms with three other crater lakes in the Southwest Province of Cameroon the so-called "Afrotropical Cameroon Crater Lakes Ecoregion". It is famous among biologists for the occurrence of 12 endemic fish-species, rendering it one of the places with the highest densities of endemic species per area in the world. For evolutionary biologists, the lake represents one of the few examples where new species have evolved within the confines of a small area by "sympatric speciation ". Lake Barombi Mbo is also important due to the presence of freshwater sponges, one of which (Corvospongilla thysi) is also endemic. It is an important sacred site to the Barombi tribe: the social and cultural life of the Barombi Mbo People is intimately linked to the use of the resources of the lake through fishing, mythology and transport, and to the surrounding land through farming. It is also a source of clean water for the metropolis of Kumba and its environs. Over-fishing, introduction of foreign fish to the ecosystem, pesticide spraying of cocoa-trees within the catchment area and deforestation on the crater rim are the main (potential and actual) threats to the site. The elaboration and implementation of a management plan needs to occur. Ramsar site no. 1643. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Estuaire du Rio Del Rey. 20/05/10; Southwest Region;165,000 ha; 4°37'N 8°43'E. Located in the department of Ndian, at the edge of the Gulf of Guinea, the Rio Del Rey Estuary is a transboundary site between Cameroon and Nigeria. It hosts approximately 10% of all West African mangroves and half of Cameroon’s mangroves. The Rio Del Rey mangroves are a uniquely important habitat for endemic and threatened species such as the Giant frog, Conraua goliath, the West African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) and the Dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis). It also offers a staging area for the migratory Lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) and for the Rachel’s Malimbe (Malimbicus racheliae). The estuary provides crucial ecosystem services. This highly-diverse site has a great biological importance as it hosts a spawning ground and nursery path for fish stocks and has a high hydrological value through recharge and discharge of underground water. It also plays an important role in water purification, sediment trapping and shoreline protection. In addition, the estuary supports local economy by supplying fish and timber. The main threat to this site is the alien invasive species Nypa fructicans, which is dominating the indigenous mangrove species (Avicennia germinans, Conocarpus erectus, Rhizophora harrisonii, Rhizophora mangle and the Rhizophora racemosa). Ramsar site no. 1908. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

Partie Camerounaise du fleuve Ntem. 05/06/12; South Region; 39,848 ha; 02°22'45"N 010°33'13"E. 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. Most recent RIS information 2012.

Partie Camerounaise du fleuve Sangha. 02/02/08; East Region; 6,200 ha; 01°50'N 016°02'E. National Park. Located in the southeast of Cameroon, bordering the Dzanga-Sangha National Park of Central African Republic (CAR) and Nouabale-Ndoke in the Republic of Congo. River Sangha is a tributary of the Congo, has its source in Cameroon and flows across CAR and Congo, and is surrounded by equatorial humid forest of great ecological value to all three countries. The site comprises the Sangha River, its tributaries, submerged land masses, and woody marshlands, raphia forests and grasslands. Its remoteness from major cities, combined with the rich flora and fauna, precious wood species, and mineral resources, make it a target resource base for the surrounding population (as a freshwater reserve, source of fish and other freshwater resources) and a haven for rare plant and animal species. It is noted for its historic significance in the culture of Baka Pygmies, whose existence was greatly associated to the forest. High densities of plants of the Marantaceae family favor the presence of the vulnerable Elephant and Gorilla. It is also a home to the endangered endemic Bates's Weaver and vulnerable Black Colobus amongst others. The site will benefit from the management plans proposed for the nearby Dja and Boumba-Bek and Nki reserves, the latter being presently managed under a GEF project with the intervention of the government of Cameroon, WWF and GTZ and aimed at biodiversity conservation through integrated conservation and development activities. Unrestrained exploitation of resources is seen as a potential threat. Ramsar site no. 1739. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

Partie Camerounaise du Lac Tchad. 02/02/10; Far North Region; 12,500 ha; 12°46'N 014°19'E. National Parks. The site represents the portion of the Lake Chad basin within Cameroon’s territory. Lake Chad is known to frequently support over 200, 000 birds and various other fauna and flora of the region such as the endangered species like the African Clawless Otter, Red Fronted Gazelle and the African Bush Elephant amongst others. Of note is the use of the site as a refuge by hippopotamuses and the Nile crocodile during the dry season. The site is recognised for its numerous important hydrological values, including sediment retention, flood control and ground water replensishment. The local communities depend on the income-generating activities supported by the resources from the wetland such as traditional fishing, hunting, subsistence farming, livestock rearing, etc. The site is recognised, however, as one of the most affected areas as a result of the challenges posed by climate change and localised threats of over-grazing, water pollution, invasive species, excessive use of pesticides, etc. Ramsar site no. 1903. Most recent RIS information: 2009.

The Waza Logone Floodplain. 20/03/06; Far North Region; 600,000 ha; 11°38'N 014°37'E. Includes two National Parks and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The floodplain of the lower Logone River in the extreme north of the country, between Nigeria and Chad, within the Lake Chad basin between Lake Maga and Lake Chad. Said to represent 10% of the surface area of major inland wetlands in the West African Sahel, the area is home to more than 100,000 people who depend upon wetland products for fishing, seasonal grazing, and agriculture. A 2001 census counted more than 320,000 waterbirds from 104 species, and there is a huge concentration of wildlife, particularly in the parks, including large mammals such as elephant, ostrich, giraffe, lion, and many others. Two decades of poor rainfall and the construction of the Maga Dam in 1981 for rice irrigation caused severe disruption to the ecological character of the floodplain, but an important rehabilitation project, begun in 1988 and a collaboration among IUCN, the governments of Cameroon and the Netherlands, and the CML of Leiden University with contributions from other institutions such as WWF and the EC, has shown good results in demonstrating the feasibility of the partial rehabilitation of the floodplain. Ramsar site no. 1609. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Zone Humide d'Ebogo. 05/06/12; Centre Region; 3,097 ha; 03°23'09"N 011°29'20"E. 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 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. Most recent RIS information 2012.

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