The RSPB has had a 20-year history of supporting front line conservation in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone has some of the most wildlife-rich forests and coastline remaining in West Africa with wildlife of global significance. We have profound and enduring links with its small, but determined, conservation community.
Sierra Leone has a young conservation community. The prospect of local environmental charities only came to the fore in the late 1980s. The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone was one of the first and is the most active environmental charity in the country. The RSPB responded to calls for international help to support the conservation community in Sierra Leone in 1989.
Sierra Leone suffered greatly from a decade-long civil war which ended in 2002. As a result, much of the infrastructure has been badly damaged and the human capacity greatly degraded. In spite of the turmoil, CSSL managed to carry out surveys of the Important Bird Areas of the country and produce a 5-volume resource book for teachers.
Sierra Leone is home to extensive and diverse wetlands, coastal and marine habitats, west Africa’s highest mountain (Mount Loma at 2,000m) and supports both savannah and rainforests in close proximity. There are over 630 bird species found in Sierra Leone’s borders. Ten threatened species exist in Sierra Leone including the endangered Rufous fishing owl and Gola malimbe. This is remarkable for a country one-third the size of England.