The Omo-Shasha-Oluwa Forest Elephant Initiative
This initiative seeks to establish a large contiguous area of forest across three states in south west Nigeria as a wildlife sanctuary.
The proposed reserve is the most important conservation area in western Nigeria. The forests and rivers of the area are home to an impressive array of wildlife including estimated species lists of over 200 trees, 81 mammals, 204 birds, 29 fish and 36 reptiles. Mammal species include forest elephant, chimpanzee and white-throated guenon monkeys, all of which are seriously endangered. However the area is under enormous pressure from unsustainable logging, hunting, forest clearance for agriculture and the introduction of invasive plant species.
Paignton Zoo joined the initiative in 2010 and now works with its partners the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Pro-Natura International (Nigeria) and ERM Foundation, UK to protect this important area. Please see http://forestelephants.wordpress.com/ to keep up with the latest developments.
The Zoo has also teamed up with ‘Size of Wales’ to support this project. Size of Wales is an initiative to encourage people to help protect an area of tropical forest the same size as Wales (2 million hectares). The Size of Wales will match all the funds raised by the Zoo for the Nigeria project so the Omo–Shasha–Oluwa Forest Elephant Initiative will benefit twice as much from your donations. See www.sizeofwales.org.uk for more details.