A river in the Gola Forest, Sierra Leone,

Gola Forest National Park

Nicolas Tubbs and Emily Woodfield report on our latest rainforest work.

Great news for Liberia's rainforest

We're thrilled to announce that on 20 September 2016, the Government of Liberia passed a Bill officially designating 88,000 hectares of Liberia's rainforest as the Gola Forest National Park.

It also passed the National Wildlife Conservation and Protected Areas Management Act. This is the result of over six years of work of the conservation partnership between the government of Liberia, the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia and the RSPB.

This is great news, as the Gola Rainforest is a global biodiversity hotspot, and listed as an Important Bird Area. This designation will help the partnership look after the forest into the future.

It fulfils the announcement by the presidents of Sierra Leone and Liberia in 2009 of the creation of a trans-boundary park to protect the precious Gola rainforest.

This Park, together with Sierra Leone's Gola Rainforest National Park, creates the largest single block of the remaining Upper Guinea Forest, the Greater Gola Landscape. Though there is still a lot of work ahead, this is a tremendous milestone that would not have been possible without your continued support.

A landscape (as seen from the road near the President's Lodge site), Gola, Sierra Leone

Roaring for the Sumatran tiger at Harapan Rainforest

It was seeing the body parts of a tiger cub killed by poachers in the Sumatran rainforests that triggered Elva Gemita's passion for tiger conservation.

"It broke my heart to see that the tiger cub had been killed for its skin, bones and fangs; and it was the same one we had rescued from another area and released in the Kerinci Seblat National Park," Elva said during a visit to the RSPB headquarters recently. The Sumatran tiger is a critically endangered tiger sub-species and is only found in Indonesia.

Elva works as Monitoring and Research Manager for Harapan Rainforest and recently submitted a thesis for a Masters degree at the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation (DICE). "My parents couldn’t afford to educate me beyond my school years, but I was interested to do a Masters," explained Elva, who was sponsored by the RSPB to build capacity for Harapan.

In 2005, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) paid for her to complete a diploma, following which she pursued a career in conservation and has been working for Harapan Rainforest for six years.

It is no surprise that Elva used the camera trap data she collected from Harapan Rainforest to undertake her Masters research thesis, looking at tiger-prey relationships across the Harapan forest.

We now wish Elva the best of luck for her future career as she returns to the Harapan Rainforest to start to apply her studies.

Early morning mists rise over the Harapan Rainforest, Sumatra, Indonesia

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A tropical caterpillar makes its way along a leaf in the Harapan Rainforest

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