CIBIO researchers participate in field mission to the most recent and largest protected area in Africa: Termit & Tin Toumma National Nature and Cultural ReserveOn March 6th 2012, the Niger Government officially established the Termit & Tin Toumma National Nature and Cultural Reserve. At 97,000 km², or approximately the same size as Hungary or the state of Indiana, the reserve is the largest single protected area in Africa. Some 14 per cent of Niger is now made up of protected areas, thus achieving the recommendation of the United Nations Millennium Goals for Development.
The fruit of a process initiated in 2004 under the guidance of Niger’s Environment Ministry and UNEP’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), work was made possible by generous support from the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM) and the European Union. Technical input was provided by the Sahara Conservation Fund and Belgium’s Royal Institute for Natural Sciences (IRSNB). Local stakeholders have also been heavily involved in the process, including pastoralists living in the area who see the reserve’s establishment and successful management as a way to secure their way of life and the natural resources on which they depend.
The researchers José Carlos Brito, Duarte Vasconcelos Gonçalves and Francisco Álvares will participate in a 15-day field mission to the protected area to contribute for the inventory of reptiles. Research is made under the scope of the BIODESERTS – Biodiversity of Deserts and Arid Regions research group at CIBIO . The research is sponsored by a grant given to Duarte Gonçalves by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (project 11052499) with the work plan Conservation Status of Agama tassiliensis and A. boueti in the Termit Massif and Tin Toumma Desert (Niger).