Talk link: https://youtu.be/SIjZVMDWHD4
Talk abstract: In a revised edition of its Conservation Action Plan for African Primates the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group insisted on the urgency of surveys in south-eastern and south-central Côte-d’Ivoire, with the primary goal of searching for viable populations of Piliocolobus waldronae, Cercocebus lunulatus, and Cercopithecus roloway; three endemic and Critically Endangered primates listed among the most threatened primates of West Africa. Following that second recommendation, surveys conducted throughout the range of these taxa in eastern Côte d’Ivoire and Western Ghana highlighted extensive habitat loss and dwindling primate populations within this faunal zone. In Côte d’Ivoire, field surveys made from 2004 to 2008 failed to document the presence of C. roloway and C. lunulatus in most forests, except for Tanoé forest, 12,000 ha (a non-protected swampy forest) where both monkeys still abound and a few other forests where C. lunulatus have survived. The probable extinction of P. waldronae was reported, but there is relatively recent evidence that this red colobus monkey has survived in the Tanoé Forest. The Tanoé forest also supports the Critically Endangered Colobus vellerosus - and several other threatened monkeys. For these reasons, the Tanoé forest is considered as a top priority site for primate conservation in West Africa. Since 2006, a community-based management Program for that forest has been initiated with 11 neighbouring communities. The main components of this Program comprise (i) community organization and capacity building for conducting routine conservation activities and implement development projects, (ii) technical support to the designation process of the Tanoé-Ehy forest as a community-managed protected area and forest surveillance, (iii) biological surveys and biomonitoring with the involvement of local communities, (iv) awareness campaigns using appropriate approaches, (v) support to local development projects (education, health systems, access to animal proteins...). In the program research feeds actions and vice-versa iteratively.