Pendjari is the largest remaining intact ecosystem in the whole of West Africa and the last vast refuge for West African wildlife. It is home to elephant, buffalo, lion, cheetah, leopard and many other species including hippo, tsessebe, hartebeest, Buffon’s kob and Defassa waterbuck.
Pendjari is home to over 460 species of bird. BirdLife International has identified Pendjari as an Important Bird Area (IBA) which recognises that the area is home to threatened and/or range-restricted species and is important for their protection.
An aerial survey is carried out every two years in order to estimate the population sizes of large mammal species and to understand their movements across the park and larger W-Arly-Pendjari (WAP) complex. In addition, a telemetric or specific monitoring system of key species such as elephants, lions, leopards and cheetahs has been implemented. In 2019, with support from the Elephant Crisis Fund and Lion Recovery Fund, we collared 25 elephants and 12 lions in Pendjari. These collars allow for close monitoring as well as the collection of valuable data on their movements in the Complex and whether they venture outside of the park and are involved in any human-wildlife conflict incidents. Scientific research will also be fostered through close collaboration with Beninese and overseas universities and research organisations.
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