A Story Map Journal of an Expedition to the Ogooué River
In September 2014, the Conservancy co-led a scientific expedition to the mid-upper reaches of the Ogooué River, chronicled in this Story Map Journal. The expedition was a biological assessment within a portion of the river recognized as one of the world’s most important wetlands, the Ramsar site called “Rapides de Mboungou Badouma et Doumé”.
Directed by the Conservancy’s Marie-Claire Paiz and Colin Apse in coordination with experts from the Gabonese Scientific Research Center (CENAREST), the expedition team consisted of Gabonese scientists, as well as other ichthyologists from France and the US whose expertise was critical to the accuracy and relevance of the research. Additional support for the expedition came from partners with the Gabonese National Parks Agency (ANPN) and the Gabon-Oregon Transnational Research Center on Environment and Development.
Throughout the expedition, the team’s scientists collected data about the conditions of the habitat and water, and meticulously documented the freshwater fish species they collected. Some of their findings are captivating, including the possibility of previously undiscovered species; other findings are notable in that they point to species rarity, or corroborate previous discoveries. At present, these data are being analyzed, entered into databases, summarized as key findings, and drafted for scientific manuscripts.
But most significantly for the Conservancy, this science will be applied. The data collected during the expedition is critical to the Freshwater Atlas of Gabon, an ambitious effort coordinated by the Conservancy to improve the information available to decision-makers to sustainably manage and conserve Gabon’s aquatic resources.