A selection of photographs which highlight the beauty of wildlife in The Gambia, this World Wildlife Day.
This Thursday the United Nations celebrates World Wildlife Day with the theme “The future of wildlife is in our hands” with African and Asian elephants being the main focus of global campaigns.
Tragically the elephant, which was once The Gambia’s national emblem, was long ago hunted to extinction here. The last recorded sighting (and subsequent shooting) of an elephant was in 1913. The last giraffe died in 1899. Being a British colony with relatively easy access from Europe, it was a popular location for big game hunters. Despite there being no elephants left in the country, this mighty animal was still a common sight on Gambian stamps in the 1920s and well into the 50s.
Other animals that the country has sadly lost include lions, a number of species of antelopes and red river hogs, while the West African Manatee and the Western Red Colobus Monkey are in danger of extinction and many other animals including species of birds, fish, reptiles and mammals are considered at risk.
There is still, nevertheless, a wonderful array of wildlife to be found in the many different ecosystems that can be found across the country. Bottle nose dolphins can be spotted in the estuary of The River Gambia. Hippos can still be seen in the protected area of the River Gambia National Park, as can chimpanzees. The latter were once lost but have been successfully reintroduced thanks to the work of the Chimp Rehabilitation Project, an example of how tourism, if carried out in a sustainable manner, can be used as a force for good. Today ethical and sustainable wildlife watching generates funds to support conservation projects all around the globe. In The Gambia baboons can be seen scampering through Makasutu Forest once again thanks to the work of Mandina Lodges in re-establishing their natural habitat there. While at the Kartong Bird Observatory, various projects are providing invaluable aid to the local community, in addition to invaluable research and conservation of the local flora and fauna.
20 Stunning Wildlife Photographs from The Gambia
In celebration of World Wildlife Day here are some of our favourite wildlife photos from The Gambia.
Ball Python in The Gambia by reptiles4all | Shutterstock
Crocodiles in The Gambia by Daniel Hocheimy
Abuko Nature Reserve, The Gambia
African Darter by Chris Packham
Hyena by Polly Evans
Mandina Lodges, Makasutu Forest, The Gambia
Violet Turaco by Dave Montreuil
Butterfly by Dave Montreuil
A male Violet-Backed Starling by Dave Montreuil
Squirrel by Dave Montreuil
A Red-Cheeked Cordon Bleu investigates an occupied vitelline weaver nest by Dave Montreuil
A Goliath Heron flying passed the mangrove roots by Dave Montreuil
Green Vervet Monkeys playing at The Senegambia Hotel by Kathryn Burrington
Glossy Blue Starling by Vaughan Ashby
Bijilo Forest, The Gambia
Western Red Colobus Monkeys by Dave Montreuil | Shutterstock
Green Vervet Monkeys by Kathryn Burrington
River Gambia National Park, The Gambia
Chimpanzee at the Chimp Rehabilitation Project, River Gambia National Park by Daniel Hocheimy
Hippo in The River Gambia National Park
Find out more about World Wildlife Day and how you can get involved by visiting their website
"The future of wildlife is in our hands."
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