Small mammal predators have often been overlooked in Gabon, a country known for its great apes, elephants, and other charismatic megafauna. But recently a team of researchers from Panthera, the Wildlife Conservation Society, University of Stirling, CENAREST, IRET and other groups turned their attention to these animals. The study comes at an important time: As a bushmeat crisis sweeps through the region, these small predators could be disappearing.
Using information compiled from camera-trap surveys, direct observations, and bushmeat studies, the team mapped the countrywide distribution of a dozen carnivore species, including mongooses, genets, and civets. Among the 12 studied, a few—including the Cameroon cusimanse and the common slender mongoose—had never been documented before in Gabon.
Luckily, it appears that, for now, these animals remain widespread. Nevertheless, the information collected about them will help wildlife managers make informed decisions on their future conservation.