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New EDGE Fellow

By on August 23, 2007 in Uncategorized, EDGE Fellows, Pygmy hippopotamus

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.

Pygmy hippo tracks

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.