Drills in Cameroon and beyond?
Does anyone know whether there are reliable spots in Cameron for Drills? Or elsewhere (other than Bioko Island)?
From “Primates of West Africa” by Oates: “The Drill is not easy to observe in the wild, but with sufficient effort can be seen (although often fleetingly) in Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and in the Mbe Mountains in Cross River State, Nigeria; in Korup National Park and the Ebo Forest in Cameroon; and in the Gran Caldera and Southern Highlands Scientific Reserve, Bioko.”
I was in Korup in 2009 and even at that time sightings were very rare. On Mt. Kupe the guide said it would take more than a week to have a good chance.
I talked with Katy Gonder for a bit last winter on the status of primates in Cameroon. It was mostly bad news. I think the odds of getting Drills are extremely low. Also, Black Colobus may be extripated from the mainland. If they are still there, they are only in isolated pockets. I think you are going to have to find a way to get to Bioko. The embassy in Germany gives out visas with little to no hassle according to the German tourists that came to our camp last winter. If you can get there this winter, I’d advise February, as the breadfruit trees in Moraka will be fruiting and Drills are pretty easy to see daily.
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Korup NP was formerly good, but primate populations there have suffered heavy poaching so they’re now almost impossible I think. Reportedly Ebo Forest and Mt. Kupe are better (birding tour groups have seen them at Mt. Kupe in the past). My guess is Mt. Kupe would be your best bet. I think they’re extremely rare in Nigeria, the only other place they occur besides Cameroon and Bioko.