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Giant tri-coloured African millipede (Pelmatojulus tectus)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 190510258

Assessment of distribution and conservation of the giant African millipede Pelmatojulus tectus re-discovered after 120 years in Littoral forest, Cameroon

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 190510258) - Giant tri-coloured African millipede - Awarded $4,932 on May 24, 2019

Millipedes (Class Diplopoda) have already received due attention as a large model soil/litter invertebrate indicatory group in Cameroon and elsewhere, but studies have never been concerned within the forest of the littoral region, one of the most fragile environments in Cameroon. The millipede fauna of the Cameroon forest remains largely neglected, and the existing data provide no basis for making conservation decisions in this important hotspot of biodiversity. Generally, millipedes like most invertebrates greatly suffer in terms of interest in conservation and worldwide protection. In Afrotropical forests, millipedes show a high level of both species richness and endemism, making them a conservation priority, yet much of the fauna remains unknown and undescribed. Although important in terms of taxonomic diversity (16 orders, over 150 families, over 2,000 genera and an estimated 80,000 species globally), millipedes are most diverse in the tropics. Being largely forest-dwelling invertebrates, they are still quite poorly investigated, even though they play important roles in forest ecology (Foster & Claeson, 2011). In addition, these very ancient animals (recorded since Silurian) have long been known to represent a perfect model taxon for biogeographical reconstructions and as potential bio-indicators. Among these important soil/litter fauna components, many species are endemic to Cameroon, many are poorly-known, while some are new to science. Given the place of forest destruction, it is important to determine the impact of human activities on Pelmatojulus tectus recently rediscovered and relocated after 120 years in the evergreen littoral forest of Cameroon.

Main objective : this study aims to provide the distribution and conservation status of Pelmatojulus tectus in the littoral forest region of Cameroon.

Specific objectives :

(1) Assess the distribution range, habitat preference and ecology element of Pelmatojulus tectus in the littoral evergreen forest of Cameroon ;

(2) estimate the size of the population of Pelmatojulus tectus in the littoral evergreen forest of Cameroon ;

(3) Identify all the threats associate with this species in the study area ;

(4) propose the conservation actions which will be taken for better protection and preservation of Pelmatojulus tectus in the study area.


Project 190510258 location - Cameroon, Africa