Taï National Park

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West Africa > Ivory Coast > Taï National Park


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Summary

Taï National Park is one of the largest remaining tracts of undisturbed lowland rain forest in West Africa, sheltering rich biodiversity with threatened and endemic species such as pygmy hippo, white-breasted guinea fowl or Jentink's duiker. In the western area of the park, three communities of chimpanzees are fully habituated to humans ("North", "South" and "East" communities) and a fourth one is under habituation ("North-East" community) for the purpose of research. Two other communities of chimpanzees are also under habituation for ecotourism.


Site characteristics

Taï National Park
Taï National Park

Taï National Park (IUCN category: II ) was created in 1972 and proclaimed a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982 (Criteria iii, iv, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195). The park is located in south-western Côte d'Ivoire (5°15'-6°07'N, 7°25'-7°54'W), approximately 200 km south of Man and 100 km from the coast. With a size of 5360 km², it is the largest protected forest block and one of the last tropical lowland forests in the Upper Guinea Region. It is managed by the Office Ivoirien des Parcs et Réserves (OIPR).


Table 1: Basic site information for Taï National Park

Area: 5360 km²
Designation: National Park
Habitat types: Sub-tropical/Tropical Moist Lowland

[IUCN habitat categories] [IUCN Protected area categories]


Ape status

Annual surveys since 2005 estimated chimpanzee population size (Pan troglodytes verus http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/15935) at 300-800 weaned individuals. This is much lower than a previous estimate of several thousand individuals (Marchesi et al., 1995). However, during the latter study only used few transects were sampled in the Taï region, which is why the estimate does not include the entire park. However, the Marchesi study was essential for estimating rate of population change for the Taï region (Campbell et al. 2008), which showed that there was no significant decline between 1990 and 2016.


Year Estimated Number of Individuals Source Dates Comments
2016 406 (265-623) Tiedoue et al. 2016 Transect survey
2015 540 (321-909) Tiedoue et al. 2015 November 2014-May 2015
2014 238 (116-487) Tiedoue et al. 2014 October 2013-April 2014
2013 294 (173-500) Tiedoue et al. 2015 January 2013-June 2013
2012 264(135-518) Yapi et al. 2012 January 2012-July 2012
2011 497 (287-868) N'Goran et al. 2011 October 2010-March 2011
2010 441 (264-735) N'Goran et al. 2010 September 2009-March 2010
2009 361 (230-568) N'Goran et al. 2008 September 2008-February 2009
2008 516 (314-847) N'Goran et al. 2008 August 2007-March 2008
2007 479 (299-767) N'Goran et al. 2007 September 2006-March 2007
2006 480 (280-830) N'Goran et al. 2007 August 2005-March 2006

Table 1: Chimpanzee population estimates in Taï NP

Threats

Illegal poaching represents the major threat to the chimpanzee population in the park. Habitat destruction by agriculture, illegal logging and gold mining in some areas of the park also threaten the long-term existence of chimpanzees in this area. Furthermore, long-term research by the Tai Chimpanzee Project established that a considerable number of individuals were killed by the Ebola virus (Formenti et al., 1999), Anthrax (Leendertz et al. 2004) and respiratory diseases (Köndgen et al., 2008) of human origin.

  • Threats present: poaching, disease, Agriculture, mining <

Threats list

Table 2: Threats to great apes in Taï National Park

Major Threats Category Threat level Description
Direct killing Poaching High Chimpanzees are threatened by hunters from communities surrounding the park
Disease Ebola, anthrax High Presence of Ebola, anthrax, and respiratory diseases of human origins
Habitat loss Agriculture High Mostly occurring at the eastern side of the park, but Eco-guards freed the park from farmers in 2017
Resource extraction Mining High Illegal mining occurring at the eastern side of the park

Threats_list

Conservation activities

In the 1970's the first research station was built in Taï National Park and since then several research projects have been conducted on different species. In particular, long-term studies by the Taï Chimpanzee Project (TCP) established in 1979 and the Taï Monkey Project (TMP) established in 1989 ensured and continue to ensure the presence of researchers at the research sites, which appears to have had a positive influence on local chimpanzee densities. Office Ivoirien des Parcs et reserves does an annual bio-monitoring survey over the entire park and, in addition, Wild Chimpanzee Foundation also does an annual bio-monitoring survey over the research area in collaboration with the TCP. Eco-guards from Eaux et Forets do regulars patrols across the entire park to control illegal activities. Survey public awareness campaigns, such as conservation education programs at local schools have mediated the need to conserve chimpanzees and their natural habitat through interactive theaters, discussion rounds and films. Two Eco-tourism projects have also been developed in the Taï and Djouroutou area.

(http://www.wildchimps.org/wcf/english/pan/index.html)

  • Conservation activities present: Law enforcement, Long-term Research, Permanent Monitoring Program, Education, Public Awareness Campaign and Ecotourism. <

Conservation activities list


Table 3: Conservation activities in Taï National Park

Conservation actions Presence Description
Law Enforcement yes anti-poaching patrols
Long-term Research yes Taï Chimpanzee Project and Taï Monkey Project
Permanent Monitoring Program yes done by OIPR
Education yes WCF programs
Public Awareness Campaign yes WCF programs
Ecotourism yes 2 projects: Taï and Djouroutou

Impediments

Inhabitants are dependent on agriculture for income, so they rely on forest lands to cultivate cocoa or hevea and poverty and lack of alternative livelihoods make this difficult to change.

  • Impediments present: poverty, lack of alternative livelihoods

Impediments list


Research activities

The first multi-species biomonitoring program was initiated in 1999 (Radl, 2004). Here, line transects were placed in five different zones in the periphery of the park. Each transect was sampled once a month for a duration of one week where all transects were sampled four times. In 2005, the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF) implemented a new improved biomonitoring program. This program (which is ongoing) has improved sampling intensity and coverage with transects now being distributed randomly across the entire park. An important survey to determine local nest production and decay rate has been done in 2009 and a project started in 2016 as for aim to improve biomonitoring by using camera traps. (http://www.wildchimps.org/wcf/english/files/biomonitoring.htm) Since 30 years, three communities of chimpanzees are fully habituated to humans and a fourth one is under habituation ("North-East" community). Two other projects that occur in the Taï area are the Taï Monkey project and the Taï hippo project.




References

  • Campbell, G., Kuehl, H., N´Goran, K.P. and Boesch, C.(2008). Alarming decline of West African chimpanzees in Côte d´Ivoire. Current Biology, 18(19).
  • Formenty, P., Boesch, C., Wyers, M., Steiner, C., Donati, F., Dind, F., Walker, F., Le Guenno, B. (1999). Ebola virus outbreak among wild chimpanzees in a rainforest of Côte d'Ivoire. J.Infect.Dis., 179(1): 120-126.
  • Köndgen, S., Kuehl, H., N´Goran, K.P., Walsh, P., Schenk, S., Ernst, N., Biek, R., Formenty, P., Mätz-Rensing, K., Schweiger, B., Junglen, S., Ellerbrok, H., Nitsche, A., Briese, T., Lipkin, W.I., Pauli, G., Boesch, C., Leendertz, F.H. (2008). Pandemic Human Viruses Causes Decline of Endangered Great Apes. Current Biology 18, 260-264.
  • Hoppe-Dominik, B. (1991) Distribution and status of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) on the Ivory Coast. Primate Report, 31, 45-75.
  • Klee, S.R., Oetzel, M., Appel, B., Boesch, C., Ellerbrock, H., Jacob, D., Holland, G., Leendertz, F.H., Pauli, G., Grunow, R., Nattermann, H. (2006). Characterization of Bacillus anthracis-like Bacteria Isolated from Wild Great Apes from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. Journal of Bacteriology, 188 (15): 5333-5344.
  • Leendertz, F.H., Ellerbrok, H., Boesch, C., Couacy-Hymann, E., Mätz-Rensing, K., Hakenbeck, R., Bergmann, C., Abaza, P., Junglen, S., Moebius, Y., Vigilant, L., Formenty, P., Pauli, G. (2004). Anthrax kills wild chimpanzees in a tropical rain forest, Nature, 430.
  • Marchesi, P., Marchesi,N., Fruth, B. and Boesch, C. (1995). Census and Distribution in Côte D´Ivoire. Primates, 36(4): 591-607.
  • N’Goran, K.P., Herbinger, I., Boesch, C., Tondossama, A. (2007). Quelques résultats de la première phase du biomonitoring au Parc National de Taï (août 2005 – mars 2006). Unpubl. Rapport WCF/OIPR.
  • N’Goran, K.P., Yapi, F. Herbinger, I., Boesch, C., Tondossama, A. (2007). /Etat du Parc National de Taï /: Rapport de résultats de biomonitoring, phase II (septembre 2006 – avril 2007). Unpubl. Rapport WCF/OIPR.
  • N’Goran, K.P., Yapi, F. Herbinger, I., Boesch, C., Tondossama, A. (2008). /Etat du Parc National de Taï./ Rapport de resultats de biomonitoring. Phase III, Août 2007 - Mars 2008. Unpubl. Report WCF/OIPR.
  • N’Goran, K. P., Yapi, A. F., Herbinger, I., Tondossama, A. et Boesch, C. (2009). Etat du Parc National de Taï : Rapport de résultats de biomonitoring phase IV (août 2008 – février 2009). Unpubl. Rapport WCF/OIPR, Abidjan.
  • N’Goran K. P., Yapi A. F., Herbinger I., Tondossama A. et Boesch C. 2009 - Etat du Parc National de Taï : Rapport de résultats de biomonitoring phase V (septembre 2009 – mars 2010). Unpubl. Rapport WCF/OIPR, Abidjan.
  • N’Goran K. P., Yapi A. F., Normand E., Herbinger I., Diarrassouba A., Tondossama A. et Boesch C. 2011 - Etat du Parc National de Taï : Rapport de résultats de biomonitoring phase VI (octobre 2010 – mars 2011). Unpubl.Rapport WCF/OIPR, Abidjan.
  • Yapi A. F., Vergnes V., Normand E., N’Goran K. P., Diarrassouba A., Tondossama A. et Boesch C. 2012 - Etat de conservation du Parc National de Taï: Rapport de résultats de biomonitoring phase 7 (janvier 2012- juillet 2012). Unpubl. Rapport WCF/OIPR, Abidjan.
  • Tiédoué R., Vergnes V., Kouakou Y. C., Normand E., Ouattara M., Diarrassouba A., Tondossama A. et Boesch C. 2013 - Etat de conservation du Parc National de Taï: Rapport de résultats de suivi-écologique -

phase 8 (janvier 2013 - juin 2013). Unpubl. Rapport OIPR/WCF, Abidjan.

  • Tiédoué R., Kouakou Y. C., Normand E., Vergnes V., Ouattara M., Diarrassouba A., Tondossama A. et Boesch C. 2014 - Etat de conservation du Parc National de Taï: Rapport de résultats de suivi-écologique -

phase 9 (octobre 2013 - avril 2014). Unpubl. Rapport OIPR/WCF, Abidjan.

  • Tiédoué R., Normand E., Diarrassouba A., Tondossama A. et Boesch C. 2015 - Etat de conservation du Parc National de Taï: Rapport de résultats de suivi-écologique - phase 10 (novembre 2014 - mai 2015). Unpubl. Rapport OIPR/WCF, Abidjan.
  • TIEDOUE R., Diarrassouba A. et Tondossama A. 2016 – Etat de conservation du Parc national de Taï: Résultats du suivi écologique, Phase 11. Office Ivoirien des Parcs et Réserves/Direction de Zone Sud-ouest. Soubré, Unpubl. Côte d’Ivoire. 31p.
  • Radl, G. 2004. Le système de surveillance et le développement des densités des animaux braconnés du Parc National de Taï. Deutschen Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, Eschborn, PN: 02.2279.4-001.00.
  • UICN/BRAO (2008). Evaluation de léfficacité de la gestion des aires protégées: parcs et réserves de Côte d´Ivoire.
  • WCF/OIPR-PNT/WWF/CSRS/KFW/EU/UNEP/GRASP/GTZ (Juillet 2008). Etat du Parc National de Tai. Rapport de Resultats de Biomonitoring Phase III (Août 2007-Mars 2008)
  • Yao, C. Y. Adou and Roussel, Bernard (2007). Forest Management, Farmers' Practices and Biodiversity Conservation in the Monogaga Protected Coastal Forest in Southwest Côte D'Ivoire. Africa, 77(1):63-85.
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