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PHF commissions an Initial Scoping Study

Published 22 Mar, 2012

In our first year, we made progress identifying and assessing the current status of the management of Sapo National park and the demographics and ecosystem of the region by commissioning an international expert to undertake a scoping study. This study has helped us better understand the threats facing Sapo and the surrounding area, as well as highlight the potential opportunities that exist to protect this biodiversity hotspot.

Some Key findings of the Scoping Study 
- Very little is known about the Pygmy Hippo (Choeropsis liberiensis) due to its nocturnal and reclusive nature, and no wide-scale survey has been undertaken
- The main threats to the Pygmy Hippo are hunting (both commercial and traditional) and habitat loss
- The UN Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) estimated that 36% of Liberia remained densely forested in 2001; however there are doubts about the accuracy of this now
- Conserving the forest habitat of the Pygmy Hippo will have major benefits for biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Around 85% of Liberia’s forest is outside of existing and proposed protected areas.  Working on strengthening and expanding the protected area network, alleviating poverty (especially in rural areas) and raising awareness at all levels is vital for conservation in Liberia
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