Gray countries with texture denote areas of future engagement.
Wildlife knows no boundaries. So AWF has defined areas across the continent that are critical to conservation. These Priority Landscapes can cover public and private lands alike and often cross borders.
47,544,000 hectares (183,568 sq. mi.)
Cross River gorilla, black colobus, mustached monkey, black rhinoceros, Rumpi mouse shrew, humpback whale, forest warbler, African elephant, cheetah, West African manatee
Savanna, tropical forest
Cameroon has often been called “Africa in miniature” for how much it mirrors the continent’s diversity—especially from an ecological standpoint. Like its mother continent, Cameroon boasts a coastline, mountains, savanna, desert and tropical rainforests. In fact, this Central African nation hosts roughly 90 percent of all the ecosystem types found in Africa.
And, with 320 different mammals (including savanna species such as lions and giraffes but also primates such as chimpanzees and western lowland gorilla), 1,000 varieties of butterflies and more than 8,000 plant species, Cameroon is said to be the fifth most biodiverse country on the continent.
Cameroon has favorable agriculture conditions and abundant oil resources, making its GDP one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Crude petroleum makes up 40 percent of the country’s exports, while aluminum, raw and roasted cocoa beans, raw cotton and gold are some of its other major exported goods.
Roughly 70 percent of Cameroonians farm, especially on the coast, where bananas, cocoa and oil palms are grown. In the western highlands, coffee is a major cash crop. Despite these growing markets, the majority of the population practices subsistence farming, growing just enough to support their families.
Africa is on the doorstep of being completely modernized and overwhelmed by development. And Cameroon is on the frontlines of this trend. Visitors to the country can easily see the growing presence of railways, road construction, palm oil plantations and human population sprawl.
For example, a deep-sea harbor is being developed just 80 km away from Cameroon’s Campo Ma’an National Park. The development is expected to quadruple the number of people living in the area. With this expansion could come increased poaching in the park.
Cameroon’s national parks are so vast and the wildlife authority is too under-resourced, however, to be effectively managed and protected. AWF is therefore working with the wildlife authority to protect Dja Faunal Reserve, Campo Ma’an National Park and Faro National Park.
Help make a real difference in Cameroon by supporting efforts such as ranger training—which helps protect wildlife from poachers—enterprises that can improve livelihoods, and more. Donate for a cause that helps the people of Cameroon, their land, and wildlife conservation.
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