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The Plants of Dom, Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon: A Conservation Checklist

This book is the fifth in a series of plant conservation checklists of Cameroon. It describes 356 species and varieties of plants discovered in the forests of Dom, in the Bamenda Highlands, North West Region, Cameroon. The checklist provides a valuable tool for the identification of the plant species within the area, in particular those threatened with extinction - the highest priorities for conservation.

The Plants of Dom, Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon: A Conservation Checklist

Dom is located in Noni subdivision, NW of Kumbo in the Bamenda Highlands of North West Region (formerly North West Province) of Cameroon.  It has been estimated that 96.5% of the original forest cover of the Bamenda Highlands above 1500m altitude has been lost.

The forest at Dom has, for some years, been given the status of community forest.  In a community forest, forest management includes both forest conservation activities and sustainable use of natural resources.  It is owned and managed by the local population that allow both conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in the forest.  In Cameroon the law on community forestry dates from 1994 (No. 94/01, 20th January 1994).

In recent years, tracts of surrounding forest have been cleared for crops and this has almost certainly been the main cause of the erosion of water supplies in the vicinity.  The local Divisional officer is very concerned for the conservation of this forest and as a consequence a Bamenda-based NGO, Apiculture and Nature Conservation organisation (ANCO), requested our help with the Community forest of Dom in 2004.  ANCO is a member of WHINCONET (Western Highlands Nature Conservation Network), a consortium of NGOs, founded in 2002 and recognised by the Cameroonian government.  ANCO seeks to support local communities protecting their forests.

The fieldwork for the checklist was executed with the National Herbarium of Cameroon and ANCO.  Major field sessions were April/May 2005, February/March 2006 and September 2006.  Identifications and checklist treatments were coordinated at Kew, although collaboratively undertaken by staff at Kew and the National Herbarium of Cameroon (and other supporting botanists.

Funding to publish the book was secured from the Darwin Initiative as part of the project centred around completing a Red Data Book for the plants of Cameroon.

This book describes the 356 species and varieties of plant discovered in the forests of Dom.  These are discussed in detail in the chapter on Red Data Taxa.  Dom is home to the world’s largest and therefore most important populations of the critically endangered trees Newtonia camerunensis and Oxyanthus okuensis.  Several of its Red Data taxa, such as the tree Antidesma pachybotryum do not occur in any formal protected area anywhere in the world.

Twelve species new to science have been described or are due to be described shortly from material discovered at Dom.  At least five of these new species appear to be unique to Dom and are known nowhere else in the world.

Although the work presented here on the plants of Dom-Kejojang is the most detailed and complete account available, it is not exhaustive.  It is certain that yet more important plant species await discovery at Dom.

 

Reference:

 

Cheek, M., Harvey,Y. & Onana, J.-M. (2010).  The Plants of Dom, Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon: A Conservation Checklist.  Pp 162.  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Project partners and collaborators

Cameroon

National Herbarium of Cameroon: Jean Michel Onana

ANCO: Paul Mzeka

WHINCONET

Project funders

Project team

Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives

Martin Cheek, Yvette Harvey

Science Teams: 
Project Leader: