In 2008 we began to study the endangered pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) in Sierra Leone. Our technique development includes camera trap surveying, local hippo population estimation using sign (feces, tracks, etc), field anesthesia protocol creation, radio telemetry tracking of individuals, and potential habitats assessment for pygmy hippos using GIS modeling. Our research, monitoring, and conservation program will take place in the areas on and around Tiwai Island, which is located on the Moa River in southeastern Sierra Leone, West Africa. This page provides updates on our research and conservation program.
The UGA pygmy hippo project is a cooperative venture that began with a partnership and funding from Conservation International. As a result we began working with the Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary in southeastern Sierra Leone, the Tiwai Island Administrative Committee, and the Environment Foundation for Africa. Tiwai Island serves as our core research and conservation base for work on the island, but also in other remnant habitats in the region.
Objectives for 2010-2011 Field Season
1) continue population assessments using camera trapping and radio telemetry to track daily movements, estimate home ranges, and determine habitat use
2) further explore suitable habitat for pygmy hippos including wildlife corridors between Gola Forest, Tiwai Island, and the Kambui Hills Reserves
3) expand environmental education and awareness in local communities
4) create a long-term partnership among all stakeholders involved in pygmy hippo research and conservation.
Click below to open videos on Youtube
Pygmy Hippo Links