Field Stations

Photo Credit: Greg Grether

CBI recently opened two field stations in South-Central Cameroon in partnership with the Cameroon Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF). These facilities are available on a fee-for-use basis to the broader community of local and international researchers, with priority for CBI partners.

The facilities are located in and near the Dja Faunal Reserve, a 526,000 ha UNESCO World Heritage site in southern Cameroon. Biosphere reserves are ‘Science for Sustainability support sites’ – special places for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understand and manage changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, including conflict prevention and management of biodiversity.

More than 100 mammal species (including five threatened species), 350 bird species, and 1,500 plant species are known to inhabit the reserve, including the endangered African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), and multiple vulnerable species including the mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx), three pangolin species, black colobus (Colobus satanas), Bates’s Weaver (Ploceus batesi), the largest known breeding colony of the Grey-necked rockfowl (Picathartes oreas), and many other rare or threatened species. Situated in a diverse and understudied ecosystem, the facilities are a valuable resource for researchers and students from evolutionary biology, ecology, and anthropology, among other disciplines.

Researchers and guides on Rocher de Bouamir near the Bouamir Field Camp in the Dja Faunal Reserve.

Bouamir Research Station

The recently reopened Bouamir Research Station is located in mature forest on a 25km² study area (30 km from Somalomo) at the center of the Dja Faunal Reserve. It is reached by foot via a 7 hour hike.

The research station operated for 8 years from 1993 to 2000 and was the base for long-term work on seed disperser communities.

The field camp is available to host researchers and educational groups. Bouamir has screened and electrified platforms for research, dining, and cooking, platforms for sleeping, a ceramic water purification system, 1000W solar system, and showers. The camp is staffed by an eco-guard and camp manager, and supported by a manager in Somalomo who can organize porters, logistics, and re-supply runs. Guides and porters are available on request from Somalomo. Bouamir is available to host short, medium, and long term researchers, and can accommodate groups or classes of up to 25 people.

Please see the Research Permits site for additional information about permitting and collaboration with local scientists, students, and officials.

 

Students and researchers at work in the research tent at Bouamir.
Map of trails available to researchers at Bouamir.

The Field Camp includes three large platforms—one for use as a laboratory, one for dining and a kitchen.
There are four additional platforms for sleeping.

Somalomo Research Station

The Somalomo Research Station is located on the edge of the Dja Faunal Reserve, just across the Dja River, and a 4-5 hour drive from Yaoundé. Somalomo is a staging ground for operations at the Boaumir Field Camp, and is available as a site to host additional research in secondary forest and agricultural areas surrounding the Dja, providing an important comparative site.

This site has three bedrooms and a shared bathroom. The facility has electricity but currently no running water. It is recommended to plan to spend a night in Somalomo before undertaking the hike to Bouamir. CBI can accommodate larger students groups up to 25 with instructors. Please contact us to learn more.

The Dja reserve boasts significant biodiversity.
Photo credit: Greg Grether

Forest buffalos range on the Rocher de Bouamir.
Photo credit: Greg Grether

Local expertise and guides

CBI has trained and worked with local experts and guides in the Dja area including people from the local Baka and Badjoué communities. There is a range of expertise relating to biodiversity research which is available to visiting research teams on request.

For queries about using the facilities, please contact Kevin Njabo at kynjabo@ucla.edu with a short description of the proposed work.