• Project name:

    Biodiversity Conservation and Management Project, Douala-Edea Reserve

  • Location:

    Douala-Edea wildlife Reserve , Littoral, Cameroon

  • Start Date:


  • End Date:



Located in the littoral province, the Douala-Edea wildlife Reserve is one of the largest and biologically rich nature reserves in Cameroon covering more than 160 000 ha created by the French colonial administration in 1932. The natural boundaries of the reserve are defined by major Cameroon rivers: the Wouri and Dimbaba in the north, River Nyong in the east, the Atlantic Ocean in the west and River Sanaga, the largest of Cameroon rivers with a total length of 918km with its 25 km segment in the reserve. Placed under category A, the reserve has a unique richness in biodiversity with varied vegetation types especially the tropical Congolian low altitude rainforest, permanent and seasonal innodated and extensive mangrove forests. The diverse vegetation types coupled with the dense hydrological network of rivers, lakes, creeks, sea, etc habour quite diverse faunal species of conservation Importance especially: forest elephants, primates (chimpanzees, monkeys), manatees, crocodiles, marine turtles, dauphins, sharks, over 132 species of fish , 298 species of birds with 70 species of water birds including local, regional migrants and paleartic species.


With the management of the reserve ensured by a conservator and a single guard, the reserve has been under threat from encroachment and overexploitation of the forest and marine resources. Being situated within 54km distance from three major cities Douala, Edea and Kribi with an estimated population of 2.5million inhabitants which inevitably pose serious threats to natural resources in the region especially in terms of demand of bush meat and agricultural products to meet urban needs. Local fish exports from Douala-Edea to cities are estimated at 500tons per year generating Euros 1million. More than 4620m3 per year of mangroves is consumed as fuel wood for fish smoking by local fishing communities in the region with foreign nationals from Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, etc comprising 70% of the mangrove and coastal communities. Current rates of mangrove exploitation are judged rather unsustainable and may in the long-term result in damaging watershed functions and other biological values of this globally threatened vegetation type. As a major and important wetland area, Douala-Edea forest has to be protected and sustainable use activities by over 10 000 local population living within and at the periphery of the reserve and other stakeholders encouraged for the region’s high and rich biological diversity to be preserved. Other major threats to biodiversity of the area include expansion of highly mechanised agricultural activities with rubber and palm plantations and petroleum exploration activities.