A tiny reserve in Nigeria has been shown to be full of wildlife

Afi mountain wildlife Sanctuary is tiny, covering only 38.6 square miles, yet analysis has shown that this reserve has a whole host of wildlife.

The cross river gorilla is one of the most endangered great ape, so finding even small reserves where they are doing okay is encouraging.

The reserve, partly set up to protect a few cross river gorillas (a species with only about 200 remaining wild members) has 13 rangers, one from each of the villages which surround the reserve. The rangers constantly patrol, and last year found and removed more than 2000 snares.

With populations of the Cross river gorilla, the Nigerian-Cameroon chimpanzee and the drill, an animal closely related to the baboon but far more colourful, as well as the wintering grounds for 20 million European swallows which migrate here each year. Porcupine red river hogs duikers and rock hyraxes are all targeted by poaches, but currently are not threatened in the reserve.

As many as 1000 small scale farms have been illegally created on the edges of the reserve, and certainly the remaining wildlife is threatened by these increasing invasions.

Never the less, it is encouraging to see a reserve in Nigeria which is managing against the odds to protect an area of rainforest and protects many of the inhabitants despite all the threats.

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