Ekwoge Enang Abwe
M.Sc. - Primate Conservation, Oxford Brookes University, UK
B.A. - Geography, University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon
Ekwoge's main research focus has been on primates in general and great apes in particular, with his MSc. research based on the subsistence tool use behavior of the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) in Ebo forest, Cameroon. The Ebo forest is located in the Littoral Region of Cameroon, less than 100 km north of Douala (the economic capital of Cameroon). Its close proximity to Douala and other major cities makes the Ebo forest the source of many wildlife products including bushmeat and timber, most of which is harvested and traded illegally.
For many years, the forest has been in the process of gazettement as a national park, but the official signature of the decree is yet to be signed because of diverse interests. Over the years, the Ebo Forest Research Project (EFRP) has been conducting biological research in the forest and conservation outreach in communities around the forest. The traditional rulers around Ebo forest have realized the value of the unique biodiversity of the Ebo forest, the current threats posed by the unsustainable use of the resources and the need for them and their subjects to engage in active conservation.
Ekwoge's current interest is to look at the sustainability of the bushmeat hunting and trade in and around the Ebo forest – the role of this on the biodiversity of the forest, the livelihoods of local people, the traders (wholesalers and retailers) as well as the final consumers in large cities. He also hope to engage more in community conservation activities through education and sensitization and promotion of more sustainable livelihoods. His desire is to be able to influence conservation policy in Cameroon, the Gulf of Guinea region and beyond.
Before moving to the Conservation and Research on Endangered Species (CRES) later Ebo Forest Research Project in 2003, Ekwoge worked as GIS operator and cartographer for conservation projects in Cameroon between 1998 and 2003. In April 2005, EFRP set up the first permanent research station in Ebo forest at Bekob (an abandoned village) and later in the same year, he observed chimpanzees cracking nuts of Coula edulis with quartz stone hammers in the west of the forest. This kindled his interest in chimpanzee subsistence tool use and led to the observation and documentation of termite fishing and honey dipping using specialized tool kits.
In the summer of 2009, Ekwoge commenced his M.Sc. studies at Oxford Brookes University following a primate Habitat Country Scholarship from the university. After completion of my degree in late 2010, he took on the management of EFRP, up to July 2014, when he joined the Gonder Lab at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Ekwoge Enang Abwe
Department of Biology
3245 Chestnut St.
Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, Rm. 503
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: PISB 503
Phone: (215) 895-6906