Mount Oku, Cameroon
At 3,011 m, Mount Oku is the second highest mountain in West Africa, after Mount Cameroon. The site, also known as Kilum–Ijim, is a proposed Community Forest Reserve. The enclosed area of 20,000 ha, about half of which is montane forest, is now the only extensive area of forest left anywhere in the Bamenda Highlands. Although the mountains are naturally geographically isolated, human activities are increasingly fragmenting, degrading, and isolating the remaining forest patches, including through agricultural conversion and logging.
Based on the conservation status of this area, the local community, under the supervision of the Cameroonian Government, should regulate forest exploitation, but in practice very little or no monitoring and law enforcement are in place. As a result, only part of the community forests are well protected, particularly those with traditional rules that have prohibited access by the community. This project proposes to enhance Mt. Oku’s present conservation measures implemented by the local community and BirdLife International.
Mount Oku is home to several frogs endemic to the Cameroon highlands, including at least three that are not found in any other region in Cameroon. The Lake Oku Clawed Frog is found only in Lake Oku and is classified as Critically Endangered. While the Lake Oku Clawed Frog is only found is this region, the Volcano Clawed Frog is more widespread around the Bamenda Highlands. Also known to be endemic to the site is the Mount Oku Grassland Toad.
Epic Cameroon Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound