Otter Conservation Education Campaign in Africa
By Dr. Jo Thompson
As a direct result of the August 2001 IUCN/SSC African
Otter Specialist Group meeting (The River Otter Journal, Vol. X, No.
2, Autumn 2001), a new project has been launched to create a conservation
education brochure about otters in sub-Saharan Africa for Africans.
Raising public awareness and providing educational materials is tantamount
as a first step for African otter conservation. This first-of-its-kind
project will be produced in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo by
the Lukuru Wildlife Research Project in collaboration with the IUCN/SSC
African Otter Specialist Group (OSG), Aktion Fischotterschutz, and the
Congo Institute for the Conservation of Nature. The narrative was written
by Dr. Jo Thompson, under the advise of Mr. Claus Reuther, Chairman
of the IUCN/SSC OSG. The artistic interpretations are by Mr. Kizito
Ngoma Muanda. The brochure text will be translated into indigenous languages
of French and Lingala. The translator is Mr. Musokony Euarist. Lingala
is the commercial language for all rural people across the whole of
the Congo Basin (countries including DRCongo, Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon,
CAR, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Angola) in Equatorial Africa. The
Lingala version will be distributed in the hinterlands of all the Congo
Basin countries. The French version will be distributed in the urban
areas of those countries and other lingua franca countries. Partial
funding for this multi-page brochure (or depliant) will be provided
by otter SSP institutions.