|The rare Robber or Coconut
Crab, Birgus latro, (the largest land crab on earth) is common on Chumbe Island
while it is threatened elsewhere in the Indian Ocean. It is widely eaten and used in fish
traps. With a diameter of up to 45 cm (18 inches)it climbs up to the top of coconut trees
and easily cracks coconuts with its powerfull claws.
The Ader's Duiker, Cephalopus adersi, is an endangered species largely extinct in its original range on the African mainland, where it inhabits the coastal thicket and forests of the Kenyan coast. Today only a relict population survives on Zanzibar (Unguja) Island, where it is endangered as a result of habitat destruction and uncontrolled hunting despite being protected by Zanzibar law (Archer 1994). A captive breeding program is now proposed by the Department of Forestry of Zanzibar.
Chumbe was visited in the 1950's by Zanzibaris hunting duikers until they became extinct on the island (A. Mwakanyuki, pers.comm.). Therefore, we had been approached by the Department of Forestry in 1995 for the establishment of a duiker sanctuary in the Chumbe forest. In 1996, conditions there were studied by consultants of the Department and found to be very suitable to support duikers (A. Williams, pers. comm.).
The succesful conclusion of the rat eradication campaign in May 1997 has led to a drastic regeneration of the forest flora and improved conditions further for the establishment of the sanctuary. Therefore, in December 1997 the first duiker was translocated to Chumbe, and more will be brought, in co-operation with the Forestry Department and the CARE-Jozani-Chwaka Bay Conservation Project.
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