Hi I’m John Konie, I currently work as a Biologist for the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), in Liberia. Recently I have been given a great opportunity by the FDA to work as the Park Biologist in Sapo National Park, Liberia’s only National Park, and one of the Upper Guinean Forest biodiversity hotspots. I have a degree in Forestry and have spent the last several years lecturing at the University of Liberia as well as undertaking botanical surveys throughout Liberia with international experts.
Now at Sapo I am helping to establish a bio-monitoring programme for the park, with support from Fauna & Flora International. The programme intends to monitor relative abundance of a number of key species including the pygmy hippopotamus. We have just trained a team of community-based trackers for carry out the programme and are currently undertaking the first survey. I am looking forward to the opportunity to become a Fellow with ZSL to undertake more intensive research on hippos in Sapo and highlight the importance of the area in conserving this charismatic animal. This will also give me a chance to build on my field skills and widen my knowledge on mammalian ecology.