Wildlife Wood Project (WWP)
The Wildlife Wood Project (WWP) builds on ZSL's bushmeat research and policy work, but shifts focus more fully onto timber production in West and Central Africa.
The timber industry has a vital role to play in the conservation of wildlife. Many endangered species are rare and/or wide ranging and so their protection within national parks, which are often small and fragmented, is not enough to ensure their long term survival; management of wildlife outside of national parks is also required. Because over half of Africa’s remaining forests have been allocated as timber concessions, timber companies are critical to this goal.
The key aim of the WWP is to ensure that forest reserves set aside for timber production are managed in a way that will optimise the survival of wildlife populations. By researching the presence and absence of different species in areas affected to varying degrees by logging, the WWP is working to determine what criteria, indicators, and methods can be, cost-effectively, used to assess how timber companies manage their forest concessions. Established indicators can then be used in existing timber certification procedures, thereby allowing timber traders and buyers to purchase from companies which they know take account of wildlife management needs.
To establish assessment criteria, indicators, and methods, the WWP works in Cameroon and Ghana as models of Central and Western African rainforests respectively. In Cameroon, where at the moment the WWP’s work is focused, survey work concentrates on assessing large-bodied mammals as indicators of logging activity whereas in Ghana research concentrates on assessing birds as indicators. In both Cameroon and Ghana, in collaboration with local universities, the diversity of taxa under consideration is presently being expanded. Both sites are also in the process of introducing camera trapping as a means of censusing wildlife.
The WWP is funded by the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative and Timbmet and works in close collaboration with timber companies, government departments, conservation organisations, and universities. In Cameroon, WWP collaborates with the timber companies Pallisco and Rougier and in Ghana, WWP collaborates with JCM, Logs and Lumber Ltd, and Samartex.
Learn more about ZSL's Wildlife Wood Project by downloading the Wildlife Wood Project infosheet (English) (2.0 MB)