Scientific support to the research and monitoring department of the Gola Forest Programme
The Gola Forest was declared a National Park in 2011. The managers of the forest require good-quality biological data to monitor conservation progress and guide management decisions within the Park.
- Capacity building: Build the capacity of a Sierra Leonean staff to implement a research and monitoring programme through a team of skilled technicians,
- Research and monitoring: Develop and implement inventories of important biological groups (trees, birds and larger mammals), including long-term monitoring of their population status,
- Develop a long-term monitoring plan for key biological groups,
- Develop specific research studies to monitor species with unfavourable conservation status (eg Western Chimpanzees, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Gola Malimbe, White-necked Picathartes),
- Provide support to national and international visiting researchers and experts working on more specific groups such as small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, bats, butterflies, etc
- Develop Gola Forest as a destination for forest research.
- Forest-wide survey of trees, including a biomass assessment
- a large-scale inventory of birds,
- a survey of white-necked picathartes colony sites,
- a survey of large mammals using distance sampling,
- a survey for key sites for pygmy hippopotamus,
- a survey of western chimpanzee,
- the use of camera traps for cataloguing more elusive mammals,
- inventories of small mammals (2008), forest amphibians (2009), bats (2009), fish (2009), butterflies (2006 & 2009), dragonflies (2006) and plants (2006 & 2009).
- Resurvey of forest primates using distance sampling
- Annual resurveys of white-necked picarthartes colonies
- Assessment of forest carbon stocks using remote sensing and predicting changes to carbon stocks in the surrounding countryside
- Territory mapping of understory forest birds
- Regular monitoring of tree phenology,
- Feeding ecology of Diana monkeys