NonoLeGrand Gonwouo, Dr.

University of Yaoundè I
BII expert in: Amphibians and reptiles

As a Conservation Biologist and lecturer from the University of Yaoundé I, in Cameroon my main interest has mainly focused on the biodiversity, taxonomy, and ecology of amphibians and reptiles across West Africa. Research interest focuses on the responses of biodiversity to environmental change, with particular interest in the distribution and dynamics of endemic herpetofauna near their geographic range margins. I have combined research and community engagement to leverage conservation outcomes for highly threatened herpetofauna in Cameroon. Interest also involves community outreach to raise awareness on the sustainable exploitation of natural resources and biodiversity conservation.

Increasing human population coupled with increasing demand of land for settlement and agricultural development in southern Cameroon is impacting herpetofauna in general and consumable species in particular. Species such as Goliath Frog (Conraua goliath), the Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis), the Forest Monitor (Varanus ornatus) and the Forest Hinge-back Tortoise (Kinixys erosa) are eaten locally with increasing negative impacts on local populations. It seems likely that the rate of hunt for subsidiary consumption, as well as for local bush meat markets has greatly contributed to the decline of these species across its range in Cameroon. The unsustainable exploitation coupled with the decreasing habitats for these species have reduced the range of these species and have also contributed to local population decline with negative impact on the life style of local populations. This growing phenomenon is progressively changing the reliance of communities from these species who are progressively changing their behavior towards alternative animal protein sources.