he West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA) is an NGO working to safeguard four highly threatened primates in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. An initiative of Heidelberg Zoo, and supported by currently 18 Zoological Collections, WAPCA has been active since 2001 working closely with the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana to establish long term sustainable conservation programmes, both insitu and exsitu.
WAPCA primarily concentrates on four key areas:
- A captive breeding programme originating from rescued and rehabilitated wild caught primates based at the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre (EPBC) at Accra Zoo and the Forested Enclosure at Kumasi Zoo.The primates, notably the white-naped mangabey and the Roloway monkey, held at these two zoos participate in the EEP and since joining have received and transferred seven animals significantly contributing to the genetic diversity of the species.
- Community-based field work in habitat range areas of the wild primate populations. Empowering communities to manage their natural resources, to patrol and protect the forests and the primates, create community tree nurseries for reforestation and sustainable use, facilitate transboundary activities with Cote d’Ivoire and develop sustainable livelihoods and promote green value chains.
- WAPCA Research Group is a collaboration between local and international Universities established to collect data in cohesive manner. Research focuses both on captive and in-situ projects allowing our conservation actions to be well informed for maximum impact and to evaluate our actions when carried out.
- Both the EPBC and the Forested Enclosure provide a crucial educational tool for both local and international visitors to the zoos. This captive populations inspire, engage and empower visitors to consider their daily actions and actively participate in the protection of the planet and the animals which we share it with.
Membership of WAPCA is available at a yearly charge or one-off donations for a specific project, which can be discussed and proposed with each donor. We understand visibility is important to donors. WAPCA produces a Annual Report which is made available to all donors and on our website. We have an active social media presence and website where donors are always acknowledged. WAPCA holds a open meeting every year at EAZA, where all donors are acknowledged and actively presents at conferences around the world. WAPCA is more than happy to visit supporting zoos and present activities to staff, volunteers and public.