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Príncipe is an old volcanic island in the Gulf of Guinea, off the west coast of Africa. It belongs to the archipelago of São Tomé & Príncipe, Africa’s second smallest nation, which lies just slightly north of the equator and just east of the Greenwich Meridian Line.
The forests are among the world’s 200 most important biodiversity areas. Unfortunately, nearly all of the lowland forest has been disturbed and altered by human activity.
São Tomé and Príncipe are in the top 25% of 218 Endemic Bird Areas worldwide for their rich species list and, more recently, both island’s forests were officially listed as Important Bird Areas in Africa.
Príncipe is part of the marine biodiversity hotspot of the Gulf of Guinea due to its high levels of endemism despite low overall species richness. Fishing is an important livelihood on Príncipe, with a third of the island’s people engaged in either catching or selling fish. Sadly, overfishing and unsustainable practices are damaging Príncipe’s marine environment which puts people’s livelihoods and biodiversity at risk.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is working with the Príncipe Trust Foundation (PTF) to enhance the conservation of the island’s outstanding biodiversity.
Príncipe Island is a biodiversity hotspot in the Gulf of Guinea; it has high levels of endemism and a unique variety of marine and coastal habitats. The island and surrounding waters is an important breeding ground and nesting area for sea turtles, humpback whales and sea birds. About a third of the island’s human population depends on fisheries for their livelihoods. Striking a balance between marine conservation and securing livelihoods is at the heart of Príncipe Trust Foundation’s (PTF) mission. FFI is working with PTF to build conservation capacity, conduct research, raise environmental awareness and diversify livelihoods of coastal communities.
The forests of Príncipe are among the world’s 200 most important biodiversity areas, the mountain forest is covered with vines, moss, orchids and abundant ferns. The lowland forest has been altered by human activity, and has many introduced crop plants dating back to colonial times. The island has high levels of endemism including: all the frogs, two reptiles, two bats, one shrew and many bird species. FFI are helping to promote the conservation of this unique landscape as well the sustainable use of the forest resources.