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Cameroon Wildlife

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The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) and the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) are "functionally extirpated" in North Cameroon, and international group of researchers said today. Cameroon is a country of central and western Africa.

Photo courtesy of the University of Leiden

"Other large carnivores such as lion, leopard, striped hyena and spotted hyena, have become rare and survive in small populations," said researchers from the Institute of Environmental Sciences of Leiden University, in collaboration with the University of Dschang in Cameroon and the Painted Dog Foundation in Zimbabwe, funded by WWF Netherlands and WWF Cameroon in the Bénoué Complex, North Cameroon.

"Three years of surveys covered over 4,100 km of spoor transects and more than 1,200 camera trap days, interviews with local villagers and direct observations," the University of Leiden said in a news release.

The main reasons for the population crash of both wild dog and cheetah are habitat destruction, poaching by local communities, loss of prey and retaliatory killing by managers of hunting zones, the statement explained.

"Only if wildlife conservation strategies are drastically improved, Lycaon populations may recover into the coming decades. The species is resilient and will profit from improved management regimes and habitat quality," the university added.

Photo courtesy of the University of Leiden

The findings will lead to the development of conservation tools with a focus on maintaining wild dog pack sizes, as well as a conservation strategy containing five major components: continued research, direct conservation, conservation education, capacity building for the future and community development.

"These activities will continue under the umbrella of the Large Carnivore Initiative for West- and Central Africa (LCI) which has recently been founded by a number of organizations and which is financially supported by the Prins Bernhard Natuurfonds," the university said.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:37 PM, ,

Teenage girls undergo 'breast ironing' in Cameroon

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From The Huffington Post

Affecting one out of every four girls, the brutal practice of "breast ironing" is on the rise in the African country of Cameroon. The procedure -- which involves the flattening of a young girl's growing breasts with hot stones, coconut shells and other objects -- is considered a way to curb the country's staggering number of teenage pregnancies, particularly high in rural areas, as well as limit the risk of sexual assault.

According to a new report by CurrentTV, Cameroonian mothers believe breast ironing will protect their daughters from becoming pregnant and being assaulted in that it will postpone their development and men will not be enticed by their breasts. With dietary habits in the country improving, girls are beginning to hit puberty as young as 9, and are subject to the practice around at the same age.

Though only limited medical research has been done on the practice, Cameroonian women say breast ironing can lead to numerous physical issues, such as burns and deformations, not to mention psychological problems. Not surprisingly, it's already been compared to the custom of female circumcision/genital mutilation.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:41 PM, ,

Cameroon Economy and the World Cup

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Cameroon’s participation in the 2010 FIFA World Cup helped many traders increase their turnover. The sale of sports gadgets skyrocketed and tenants of licensed premises were satisfied with the influx of customers.

In Yaoundé, banners and posters highlight promotional prices for television sets.

“Usually, we sell about five television sets per month. But last May we sold 17 units, which is a record,” explains Guy Tchamba, manager of an electronics store at the Yaoundé central market.

“Our customers are restaurants and licensed premises owners, as they want to attract more clients during matches. We also have some private customers who buy the sets for their homes,” adds Serges Atéba, also a store owner at the Yaoundé central market.

Serges Atéba also bought a lot of soccer jerseys, flags and whistles in preparation for the World Cup. The jerseys are imported from China and sold for between FCFA 1000 (€1.5) and FCFA 4000 (€6) a piece. He is not used to selling these gadgets, but he saw it as a good business opportunity. Now that the World Cup has ended, Serges Atéba has exhausted his stock of sports gadgets. He does not wish to express in figures the economic impact of the World Cup on his business, but the large smile on his face is sufficiently suggestive.

Printers have also increased their turnover. They printed pocket calendars of the matches, where fans could record scores and see details about upcoming games and combinations. The calendars went for FCFA 100 (€0.1) a piece and Simon, one of the many hawkers at the traffic circle of the central post office in Yaoundé, confirms in his own words, that “these calendars sold a lot”.

Soccer fans prefer to sit in licensed premises to watch the matches and enjoy a drink at the same time. The owners of such places capitalised on this during the showcase.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:33 PM, ,

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