São Tomé and Príncipe is a tropical archipelago nation nestled in the Gulf of Guinea. Due to its remote location, it is a biodiversity hotspot with many species found nowhere else in the world. We and our local partners are working with island communities to better understand and conserve the country’s unique forests and marine habitats, protecting threatened species and providing benefits for local livelihoods.
The forests of Príncipe are among the 200 most important biodiversity areas in the world. Recognising the importance of protecting the island’s endemic plant and animal species, in 2016 Fauna & Flora began extensive island-wide biodiversity surveys and 3D mapping to better understand the conservation efforts required. The surveys found dozens of endemic bird, invertebrate and reptile species – many of which are already facing extinction and remain poorly known or even undescribed in science. Urgent action (including research) for the critically endangered Príncipe thrush was identified as a high priority, with fewer than 300 individuals left in the wild.
The ocean around São Tomé and Príncipe is a marine biodiversity hotspot due to its high levels of species endemism. Sadly, however, overfishing and destructive fishing practices are posing an increasing threat and contributing to the rapid decline of fish stocks and degradation of marine ecosystems. This poses a serious threat to local fishing communities who rely on marine resources for their livelihoods. Fauna & Flora is therefore working with partners on the islands to engage with local stakeholders, including government and coastal communities, to promote sustainable use of marine resources through the establishment of co-managed marine protected areas.