Fundação Kissama (FK – Kissama Basis) is a non-profit nature conservation NGO that has studied and labored on the in situ safety of Angolan biodiversity for greater than 20 years. Angola is among the most numerous nations in Africa, however it is usually among the many most poorly studied, a consequence of a number of many years of civil conflict. Our work consists of the preservation of charismatic and threatened species comparable to the enormous sable antelope (Hippotragus niger variani) – essentially the most endangered antelope of the world and Angola’s nationwide image, the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), and the elusive forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), to call a couple of.
FK began by working in Quiçama Nationwide Park, a one-million hectare park near Angola’s capital, Luanda. Animals introduced from Botswana and South Africa had been reintroduced within the park between 2000 and 2001, in a profitable operation named “Noah’s Ark”, nonetheless efficient twenty years later.
In 2003 FK expanded its actions to Cangandala Nationwide Park, beginning by on the lookout for the Big Sable Antelope, beforehand regarded as extinct. After confirming that the sable had survived, a number of conservation measures had been taken to guard it, specifically the institution of the “sable shepherds” (members of the native communities engaged in conservation actions) employed to patrol for poaching, and the creation of a sanctuary for cover and replica of the sable. Rooted on this success, FK expanded its scope to Luando Integral Reserve, a a lot bigger and distant protected space the place the sable is understood to be extra ample. In parallel, now we have documented the biodiversity of those areas.
We share a holistic and complete method to conservation, and don’t prohibit our work to flagship species. Over the last 10 years, now we have organized and been a part of a number of biodiversity surveys in distant areas of Angola, particularly potential biodiversity hotspots, through which amphibians are recorded, in addition to reptiles, birds and mammals. These inventories are an important step in the direction of enriching the extraordinarily poor data about Angola’s fauna. Because of this, a number of scientific articles have been revealed, a herpetological assortment is being developed, and analysis is ongoing.
It’s our deep perception that conservation actions usually are not separate from society or from native communities, who rely closely on pure sources for his or her livelihoods. One in all FK’s important targets is to encourage the love for nature within the Angolan society by elevating consciousness. One of many methods to realize that is by producing studying assist supplies, a lot of them aligned with the nationwide curricula.
A group of books for youngsters about Angola’s unimaginable fauna was began in 2012 and branded as “Tales to Protect”. These books illustrate a few of the nation’s most interesting species, such because the lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) occurring within the Maiombe rainforest, the nation’s nationwide chicken – the gorgeous red-crested turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus) from the escarpment forests, and the cheetah (Acynonix jubatus) from the Namibe desert. On this manner, we not solely spotlight the species but additionally the actual and numerous habitats the place they happen, in addition to the impacts of human actions on them. Eight books have been revealed up to now, with a couple of titles translated to English, and the subsequent title can be a couple of very charismatic frog – extra on this later!
We additionally produce board video games, pastime books and brochures, hoping that they can be utilized on the faculty and neighborhood ranges. We not too long ago began to supply posters, the primary being in regards to the amphibians of Cangandala Nationwide Park.
As the one Basis totally devoted to biodiversity points in Angola, we implement an everyday internship program that enables early profession biologists to enhance their abilities and to be concerned in our initiatives, hoping to ascertain a cadre of conservationists who will guarantee higher analysis and conservation practices for the nation.
We consolidate our work by way of completely different types of public outreach, comparable to storytelling in colleges and kindergartens, and taking part in gala’s, radio and tv interviews. By doing so, we hope to have interaction an increasing number of residents to share this fascination for the pure world and assist defend Angola’s wonderful wildlife!
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By Ninda Baptista, Vladimir Russo & Pedro Vaz Pinto
Fundação Kissama, CIBIO