Current Research Activities

Current Research Activities

Sapo Conservation Centre creates the environment and opportunity for researchers from within Liberia and all over the world to feel at home while exploring the region. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the unique environment of the Sapo area, a wide range of research topics are encouraged, covering biological, ecological, social or economic issues.

A report identifying knowledge gaps in the biodiversity of SNP has documented past research projects and future research opportunities and priorities in SNP. The report can be downloaded here.

Research conducted recently in the region include the following:

  • A 4 year camera trapping study in partnership with ZSL and the FDA to monitor changes in the community of ground dwelling terrestrial vertebrates designed and implemented. Results include the first picture of a Liberian Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) in the wild, and the first evidence of Liberian Mongoose in Sapo.
  • In partnership with the Department of research ecology at Wageningen University, vegetation mapping and botanical surveys have been conducted at Sapo National Park to provide an improved understanding of its botanical resources, whilst simultaneously improving national capacity for botanical surveying. One species of snail (Maizaniella sapoensis) and 17 botanical species new to science have so far been discovered.
  • A two year study on the West African Chimpanzee was recently completed by the Max-Planck Institute inside Sapo National Park.
  • A crocodilian study confirmed the presence of slender-snouted crocodiles (Mecistops cataphractus) and African Dwarf crocodiles (Osteolaemus tetraspis) in the Sapo region
  • Two butterfly surveys identified 244 species, of which 7 were new to Liberia and comprised one new to science.
  • Comprehensive analysis of the potential for developing alternatives to bushmeat hunting and trade in the livelihood portfolios of communities in the Sapo region
  • Study on non-timber forest products in communities around Sapo National Park
  • Study of historical and contemporary artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in and around Sapo National Park

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