Founded by Hummingbird Resources Plc in 2012, The Pygmy Hippo Foundation (PHF) was established with the aim of promoting the conservation, preservation and protection of the endangered pygmy hippopotamus in the remaining Upper Guinea forests of West Africa.
The Upper Guinea forests are widely recognised as a global biodiversity hotspot and home to more than a quarter of Africa’s mammals (Myers et al. 2000), as well as some of the planet’s greatest densities and varieties of bird, insect, and plant life. The forests are also home to the last of the world’s wild pygmy hippos, which, according to the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), number fewer than 3,000.
This critical biodiversity hotspot has been subject to extensive deforestation. Only 14% of West Africa’s original forests remain and around 40% of these surviving forests are in Liberia. Liberia also contains two of the three largest remaining blocks of forest; one of which is part of Sapo National Park.
Sapo is Liberia’s oldest and largest protected area and believed to contain the majority of the last remaining wild pygmy hippos. PHF focuses its work in this area and by partnering with the Government of Liberia, local communities, enterprise, as well as other conservation charities, its mission is to assist in the re-development of Sapo and promote sustainable management of the surrounding area. The PHF also looks to carry out work across West Africa to further conservation and education.