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An assessment of changes in the montane forests of Taraba State, Nigeria, over the past 30 years


Hazel M. Chapman a1c1, Steven M. Olson a2 and David Trumm a3
a1 School of Biology, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
a2 School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
a3 CRL Energy Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Article author query
chapman hm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
olson sm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
trumm d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

During October–December 2002 a team from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation and the Nigerian National Parks visited the montane forests of Taraba State, eastern Nigeria. Their aim was to identify changes in the forests that had occurred since they were last described in detail during the 1970s. Then the forests were rich in Afromontane endemics, were home to at least 24 threatened plant species, and harboured abundant wildlife. In 2002 all but one of the forest fragments visited were intact, although some of the smaller fragments had further reduced in size. The most obvious differences between 2002 and the 1970s were the dramatic reduction in wildlife, and the depletion of montane grassland and associated species. For these forests and their associated fauna to survive, more local, national and global support is urgently required for management to prevent species loss.

(Received March 25 2003)
(Revised June 19 2003)
(Accepted March 4 2004)


Key Words: Afromontane endemics; Cameroon Highlands ecoregion; Gashaka Gumti National Park; montane forest; Nigeria.

Correspondence:
c1 Correspondence: School of Biology, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand. E-mail hazel.chapman@canterbury.ac.nz


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