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Minkébé National Park

Minkébé National Park is an extreme conservation and important site for conservation by the IUCN in Woleu-Ntem Province, Gabon. The 7.570 sq kilometer area where WWF has been actively working to protect forests since 1997 and was designated as a temporary reserve in 2000, but officially declared a national park by the Gabon government in August 2002.

WWF in 1997 worked with other groups and donors around the world to start management programs and set up two main command centers in Oyem and Makokou, as well as a camp on the Nouna River to build ways to manage and protect biodiversity in the park.

Xvlor Minkébé National Park Minkébé National Park

The protected area complex in the zone between Minkebe in Gabon, the Republic of Congo and Cameroon forms part of a much wider geographic conservation process and is considered one of Africa's most biologically rich forests and is ecologically part of the Northwest Congolian Lowland Forest ecoregion covering 140,000 sq kilometers or about 7.5% of the Congo Basin forest.

The Minkébé project works at the regional level in the zone between Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and Gabon known as Dja-Odzala-Minkébé Tri-National (TRIDOM) where each country is committed to cooperating, implementing and managing interzones to promote conservation and sustainable development.

Minkebe's own forest covers 30,000 sq kilometers with diverse habitats including inselberg forests, herbaceous swamps, submerged forests into secondary forests. The landscape is dominated by an isolated stone dome and hundreds of years old trees. The Minkébé forest has four main rivers and grasslands for the elephant trails.

African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) is very important and is believed to be one of the largest populations in Africa. Lower forest is inhabited by Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli), porcupine, squirrel, African golden cat (Caracal aurata), leopard (Panthera pardus), giant pangolin (Smutsia gigantea), duiker and red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus).

Primary forests are inhabited by mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx), black colobus (Colobus satanas), chimpanzee (Pan), Angwantibo (Arctocebus). Riparian forest Minkébé including dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis), spotted-necked otter (Hydrictis maculicollis), crested mangabeys (Lophocebus), sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii), water chevrotain (Hyemoschus aquaticus), bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus), giant forest hog (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni), and python.

Bird species include parrot, spot-breasted ibis (Bostrychia rara), Rachel's malimbe (Malimbus racheliae). Sterculia subviolacea tree species found in Minkébé and not found elsewhere in Gabon. Minkébé National Park

Xvlor Minkébé National Park

Location: Woleu-Ntem Province, Gabon.

Routes and public transport: Flights to Oyem Airport in Oyem City, then to Minvoul for 106 kilometers and then take a boat from Minvoul to Doumassi village. Another alternative flight to Makokou Airport in Makokou Town, then walk 11 kilometers to Grand Bois.

Advice: Minkébé National Park is not permanently inhabited by humans, but the ethnic Baka pygmy, Fang, Kota and Kwèl live in forest areas and have rich cultural heritage. Kota mask, forest spirit, Baka Edzengui, and Kwel Deke Dance are cultural records in the region.

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