FINAL REPORT: Survey of Wildlife and Anthropogenic threats in the Grebo-Sapo Corridor, South-eastern Liberia

A- Generalities and Survey Methodology In 2013, a corridor linking Proposed Grebo-Krahn National Park(PGKNP) with the Sapo National Park (SNP) was identified, under the Taï-Grebo-Sapo Transboundary Corridor Initiative, a scheme led by the Governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia. The corridor runs through a major logging concession (FMC ‘F’) and community land (Putu and Chedepo Districts of Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties respectively). To evaluate the feasibility and potential impact of creating the corridor, a survey was led to measure the presence of both wildlife and anthropogenic threats inside the corridor. The survey would also provide a first idea of the potential boundary lines of the corridor. Supervised by trained WCF staff and FDA rangers, 3 teams of trained FDA rangers, auxiliaries and community members walked 103.17 km across two systematic transect designs (1 for the concession, 1 for the community land) between the 28th of May 2015 and the 15th of July 2015. Data was collected on the presence of large mammal and anthropogenic activities. Data was collected following IUCN Standards for Great Ape Surveys (Kühl et al., 2008).

B- Abundance and spatial distribution of large mammals in the Grebo-Sapo Corridor (GSCor) Data was analysed to determine the encounter rates for each species and the spatial distribution of target species (chimpanzees, monkeys, duikers, etc.). A population estimate of chimpanzees in the survey area of FMC-F was also calculated and provided the current estimate of 688 individuals. Surprising levels of biodiversity were discovered in both FMC-F and the community corridor with signs of 7 species of monkey found in both FMC-F and the community corridor.

C-Threats to wildlife of the GSCor The data collected on anthropogenic activities was treated in the same way as the wildlife data. Signs of hunting were found in both survey areas at levels which are likely to be having an impact on wildlife in the proposed corridor, higher than in the Proposed Grebo-Krahn National Park. Encounter rates of activities leading to deforestation were surprisingly low for a logging concession and community land, which is a positive result. The largest threat to wildlife in the surveyed areas is hunting activity which fuels the bush meat trade. Note that a large mining camp is located in the FMC F corridor and it appears that the consumption of bushmeat there is extremely high.

D-Conclusion and Recommendations A corridor between PGKNP and SNP has been presented based on the results of this report. It is vital that all affected stakeholders meet to discuss the boundary lines of the corridor and the management strategies needed to maintain it. Given that the corridor falls in three different types of land-use (National Forest, logging concession and community forest) the creation of a successful corridor will be a complex and delicate process.