Wildlife Trust (MWT) is a Gambian registered, not-for-profit
(NGO A66) charity whose main mission is to help protect
wildlife and its habitats, ecosystems, and to
promote greater understanding about the importance of
conservation, biodiversity and its sustainable exploitation.
To carry out its main mission the trust promotes the
participation of local people and increasing their capabilities
in all facets of biodiversity and its preservation,
encouraging education and environmental sensitivity.
At the MWT headquarters in Abuko
the employees carry out the training of locals and tourist
visitors, wildlife research, rehabilitation and care
orphaned and injured birds and animals, plan and carry
out conservation programmes.
Activities & Projects:
The Makasutu Wildlife Trust carries out nationwide education
campaigns and provides courses for government staff,
other non-governmental organisations, local communities,
and private bodies in conservation and biodiversity.
• Darwin Initiative
The project is funded by the UK government and managed
by the Trust to help The Gambia to protect and conserve
its biodiversity and ecosystems.
• Supporting local conservation
MWT has worked with villages on the creation of community
reserves and ecotourism schemes such as the Pirang
Forest Park ecotourism project. They have also worked
with forest guides of the Tumani Tenda Eco-Reserve on
their bird identification abilities.
Developing the abilities of local people to conserve
and protect their biodiversity and sustainably manage
their local natural resources.
It provides an Introduction to Wildlife Guiding course,
which has been taken by ground tour operators, ecotourism
and forest guides.
The national educational snake campaign operated jointly
by the trust and the Department of Parks and Wildlife
included training of DPWM personnel in the handling
knowledge about biodiversity
This is achieved through research such as the river
survey of the reptiles, birds and mammals, field research
on the butterflies, amphibians bats, and reptiles.
The creation of a comprehensive species list, image
database about the fauna and flora of The Gambia, increase
baseline information about biodiversity and various
other facets of the natural world.
people to appreciate their natural environment
This is done with guided treks about the plants and
animals in Abuko Nature Reserve, distribution of 1,200
copies of an easy to read field guide on common animals
to schools and lectures with school children about wildlife.
• Animal Clinic
Because illegal hunting of wildlife is still very common
in The Gambia there are many orphaned and injured animals
and birds. To address this problem, Makasutu Wildlife
Trust started a wildlife clinic at Abuko Nature Reserve
The purpose of the wildlife hospital is to treat injured
or sick animals and return them to the wild. Some animals
stay short term while others take longer to heal and
Over the years the MWT has taken in and cared for a
number of birds such as owls, herons, Senegal Parrots,
doves and egrets, reptiles such as turtles, baby crocodiles,
tortoises and snakes, mammals such as bushbuck fawn
and Patas monkeys. Some creatures are later released
into the Kiang
West National Park.
Among the species recorded in The Gambia are bacteria,
protocista and invertebrates, vertebrates, fungi and
127 different mammal species have been recorded. This
includes the now extinct elephant and giraffe. However
the country still home to the warthog, hippo, spotted
hyena and, 27 species of rodents, 31 species of bat
and small mammals.
More than 560 bird species have been listed. Over 220
of them are known to breed locally.
Over 620 species of fish have been recorded. These include
both freshwater and marine species.
72 reptiles have been recorded in The Gambia, including
7 species of freshwater turtle, 2 tortoises, and 4 species
of marine turtles. There are 39 snake species, 17 species
of lizards, and 3 crocodile species.
33 species of amphibian have been recorded. These include
29 frog species, and 4 toad species.
There is insufficient research in this area. However,
it is known that at least 175 species of butterfly and
78 species of dragonfly have been recorded.
The total number of plant species is hard to determine,
and much more work needs to be done. However the present
total of flowering plant species recorded is 1,005 and
includes herbs, shrubs, trees, grasses and climbers.
• What you can do to help?
For Makasutu Wildlife Trust to carry out its activities,
it has to raise its own money. It does this through
a membership based scheme, consultancies, projects and
private donations. It also sells posters, T-shirts,
and booklets. Contact them to find out how you can participate.
c/o Dept. of Parks & Wildlife
Tel no: 7782633