Banyang-Mbo landscape covers a surface area of 626,150 ha extending from 32N 505,532 to 608,111 E and 546,433 to 645,358 N. It comprises the Banyang-Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary,Korup National Park, FMU11001, FMU11_002, Nta’ali Forest Reserve, Nkwende Hills, Proposed Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve, Bakossi National Park and the recently created Tofala Hills Wildlife Sanctuary to the east of FMU11_002.
The Banyang-Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary was created in 1996 by Prime Ministerial Decree and covers a surface area of 64,220 ha of mainly sub-montane vegetation with altitude ranging from 120 – 1750 m in the N-S direction (Greengrass, 2008). It located with the range from 32N 553516 – 584815 E and 570897 – 615107 N.
The relief of the landscape is characterized by rugged and hilly topography especially to the east in Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve, southern part of Banyang-Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary, the Bakossi National Park, and the north-east of the FMU11_002, Nkwende Hills with rocky outcrops or inselbergs. The peaks of Muanenguba, Bakossi National Park, Tofala Wildlife Reserve and Nkwende Hills are watersheds from where major river basins such as the Cross River, Mongo… take their rise.
The vegetation ranges from the evergreen equator-Guinean forest through mist forest to montane (Letouzey, 1985; Cheek, 1996).
The Sanctuary is a biological hotspot of conservation importance and an important site for primate conservation being habitat of flagship species including: the Forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) with its famous ‘elephant market’ (a saltlick situated in the Sanctuary where elephants visit), the Nigerian-Cameroon Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes vellerosus), Drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus). It is habitat to seven known guenons including: White-collared Mangabey (Cercocebus torquatus), Red-eared monkey (Cercopithecus erythrotis), Putty-nosed monkey (Cerpithecus nictitans), Mona Monkey (Cercopithecus mona), Crowned Monkey (Cercopithecus pogonias) and the Preuss’s Red Colobus (Procolobus pennanti preussi); Waltert et al (2002); Greengrass et al (2007); Joshua Linder (2008);Bobo et al (2014)
It is hypothesized that an elephant migration corridor exists from Bakossi National Park, Banyang-Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary, Nta’ali Forest Reserve, Nkende Hills FMU11_001 and Korup National Park.
Four species of forest duikers are present in the Sanctuary (Greengrass, 2008; Bobo et al, 2014) including the Yellow-backed duiker (Cephalophus sylvicultor), Bay duiker (Cephalophus dosrsalis), Ogilbyi’s duiker (Cephalophus ogilbyi) and the Blue duiker (Philantomba monticola).
Other ongulates recorded in recent surveys include the Forest buffalo (Syncerus cafer), the Bush pig (Potamochoerus porcus) and the Water Chevrotain (Hyemoschus aquaticus).
Two species of Pangolins have been recorded during surveys; Long-tailed or black-bellied Pangolin (Uromanis tetradactyla) and the Tree or White-bellied Pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis).
Banyang-Mbo Sanctuary is home to over 322 species of avifauna including the endangered Mount Kupe Bush-shrike Telophus kupeensis (Birdlife, 2002).
The Sanctuary habours 71 species of reptiles including 2 species of Tortoise, 23 species of Lizards, and 46 species of Snakes (Joseph Le Doux et al, 2003).
Threats and Mitigating Measures
There is an organized large scale poaching of bush meat for income and protein having a high pressure on the Sanctuarys’ wildlife resources.
With 29 communities close to the Sanctuary, there is pressure of land use consequently; agricultural encroachment into the Sanctuary has been recorded though not quantified.
A combined effort from the Programme which includes law enforcement through regular eco-guard patrols, co-management measures which incorporates village development and NTFP commercialization; and conception and implementation of green projects would lead to increase in income levels of collaborating communities from alternative sources than poaching.