MENTOR - Bushmeat Fellowship Programme

MENTOR-Bushmeat Fellows

Unsustainable hunting for bushmeat has been identified as the single greatest threat to Central Africa’s wildlife. In order to tackle this, ZSL and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have entered a cooperative agreement to implement the MENTOR-Bushmeat Fellowship Programme in collaboration with the Central African Bushmeat Action Group (CABAG). The MENTOR-Bushmeat programme seeks to combine rigorous academic and field-based training, long-term mentoring, learning through experience, as well as project design and implementation to protect species threatened by illegal trade in bushmeat.

Why we are there

The Congo Basin is a landscape rich in biodiversity; it is home to approximately 10,000 plant species, 400 mammals (including lowland and mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants), 1,000 bird species and 700 species of fish. Sadly, many of these species are in decline owing to the pressure from the exploitative nature of the commercial bushmeat trade in urban centres.

A mixture of dead animals collected for bushmeat
Urban demand for bushmeat trade is driven by luxury consumers, and this demand not only impacts wildlife, but also has a direct negative effect on the food security and livelihoods of local and indigenous people by depleting game populations and destabilizing communities that depend on wildlife for subsistence. 
ZSL’s existing relationship with the Cameroonian Government, wildlife college and important African conservation organisations in this region will be integral in enabling effective cross-country collaboration needed to address the international bushmeat market as well as on the ground community outreach.

Objectives and Goals

The MENTOR-Bushmeat Programme is seeking to develop capacity within Central Africa to tackle the illegal trafficking of protected species in the commercial bushmeat trade.  A total of 8 MENTOR Fellows will be selected from bushmeat projects within the CABAG Membership in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Republic of Congo.  Two Fellows each from four field site will be selected.
The programme delivers a trans-disciplinary curriculum which will include :

  • Bushmeat law enforcement, focussing on criminology and investigation
  • Analysis of bushmeat transportation routes
  • Socio-economic analysis of the commercial bushmeat trade
  • Outreach and behaviour change campaigns  

The Fellows will become champions and outreach leaders communicating about the impact of bushmeat trafficking on protected species. The eventual aim is for local conservation action to significantly limit the flow of illegal bushmeat trade in protected species, beyond the end the MENTOR-Bushmeat program.

Key species

  • Great apes and other primates, forest antelopes and ungulates and pangolins. 

People involved

  • Francis Tarla (Programme Co-ordinator)
  • Andrew Fowler (Cameroon Country Director, ZSL)
  • Eleanor Harvie (Africa Programme Manager, ZSL)
  • Rebecca Sennett Day (Deputy Africa Programme Manager, ZSL)
  • Nancy Gelman (Programme Officer, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Without Borders, Africa Programme)



ZSL and the USFWS are pleased to announce the 2020-2021 MENTOR-Bushmeat Fellowship Programme. We are now accepting applications for this Fellowship Programme. Please click below to read the full Fellowship Application announcement for more information about the programme as well as candidate eligibility. Applications can be found on the following page.

In English

en francais

Applications are now open for the 2020-2021 MENTOR Bushmeat Fellowship Programme, seeking to develop early career Central African conservation practitioners to tackle the bushmeat trade and champion wildlife conservation in Central Africa. 

This call is open to staff and new hires of Central Africa Bushmeat Action Group (CABAG) Member organisations from Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Republic of Congo. CABAG Members must endorse the candidates and agree to support salaries to Fellows during the project implementation phase of the MENTOR-Bushmeat Fellowship.

This is an 18-month programme and will include 8 months based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, followed by a 10 month project implementation phase in Central Africa. Application documents and further information can be found in the corresponding tab on this page. Owing to technical issues, the deadline for submitting applications is now midnight Sunday March 16th, 2020. (Please note, this is the updated deadline and the 9th March, as per the application form, is the old deadline.)

Please send any enquiries to

MENTOR Fellowship Application – English

MENTOR Fellowship Application – French