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Bui National Park, Ghana Print E-mail

bui.gifAccording to many authoritative atlases and maps, Bui National Park is already underwater! But the dam first planned in the 1920s was not started until August 24th 2007. 

When Mampam Conservation were banned from working in Bui National Park, Ghana,  in 2001, it marked the end of independent biological reseach in the area. Now work has begun on a controversial hydroelectric dam that will destroy the riverine habitat of the park and, we believe, lead to the local extinction of many animal species including the hippopotamus.The destruction of Bui National Park has gone almost unremarked. This site aims to provide a record of Bui National Park  prior to its innundation


Bui National Park is a rarely visited national park in western Ghana that is famous for its large hippopotamus population, probably the densest remaining in West Africa. Thirty years ago it was due to be the site of a hydroelectric dam project that would flood most of the park. Although the lake that would have formed has appeared in maps and atlases ever since, the dam has not yet been built and the area still contains the most pristine riverine forest in the entire Volta system.


The Black Volta Project started as a collaboration between a group of 40 students, fishermen and Wildlife Department staff to create some basic infrastructure and to document and study aspects of the wildlife of Bui National Park in western Ghana in 1997. In 2001 the project was banned from conducting research in Bui National Park on the grounds that our work was "not in the national interest".


Since then the project has worked with the people of Bator Akenyakrom village to establish some basic visitors' facilities at the gateway to the park.This work was suspended when it bacame clear that the village would be destroyed by the Hydroelectric Project


Not many people visit Bui because it is remote and facilities are poor. But it is easy to get to (even on public transport) and provides a refreshing change from the Mole and Kakum type experience. This website contains details of the project's work in Ghana, some useful information on the fauna and flora of the area and the logistics of visiting the park and a unique list of things to do in Bui National Park, most of which have not been done for many decades!!! Click here for full report!




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The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Background and History
butaan2.jpgThe butaan was first described to science in 1845 from a juvenile specimen collected by Hugh Cuming. It was labelled only "Philippines". It was named Varanus grayi.  No other specimens came to light for over 120 years. In the 1970s Walter Auffenberg found another specimen with a location in Luzon, established that its correct scientific name was Varanus olivaceus, and undertook a 22 month study of the species based in Bicol. His study revealed that butaan occupy a unique ecological niche and have a lifestyle quite unlike any other monitor lizard. Auffenberg used local hunters with dogs to catch the animals. Of 126 butaan caught during his study, 116 animals were killed.


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