The poster will show first project results concerning the actions of CBD-Habitat supported by OceanCare to improve the implementation of the Action Plan for the Western African Manatee on the field in Guinea-Bissau. The support of the Manatee action plan was developed mainly by performing a valorisation of its status in Orango National Park (Guinea-Bissau) as well as by the identification of the impact that fisheries causes to the population, and the identification of critical habitats of the species in order that their protection can be improved by national authorities.
More specifically, the objectives of the project are:
- To determinate the impact of fisheries on the manatee population in Orango National Park and to develop a proposal of solutions that decreases the conflict.
- To identify manatees critical habitats, as foraging areas, concentration areas, freshwater wells where they concentrate to drink water, reproduction places, etc. in order to improve its protection status.
As a first step a questionnaire was designed and translated into the local language in order to collect existent knowledge about Manatee such as their distribution and number of sightings among local fishermen. The survey has been finalized in 2011 and important new insights have been gained through it such as the identification of prior unknown river arms which manatee use to get to freshwater wells or eat and the fishing techniques used by local fishermen. We will present some of our survey results as well as our future steps forward which are based on the results of the survey.