This book presents a comprehensive synthesis of the biodiversity of the oceanic islands of the Gulf of Guinea, a biodiversity hotspot off the west coast of Central Africa. Written by experts, the book compiles data from a plethora of sources – archives, museums, bibliography, official reports and previously unpublished data – to provide readers with the most updated information about the biological richness of these islands and the conservation issues they face.
The Gulf of Guinea Oceanic Islands (Príncipe, São Tomé and Annobón and surrounding islets) present extraordinary levels of endemism across different animal, fungi and plant groups. This very high endemism likely results from the long geological history of the islands and their proximity to the diversity-rich continent. Many researchers, students and conservationists from across the globe are interested in documenting biodiversity on the islands, understanding the evolutionary origins of this diversity, and mitigating the impacts of global change on this unique archipelago. Biodiversity of the Gulf of Guinea Oceanic Islands aims to be a primer for a broad audience seeking baseline biodiversity information and to serve as a roadmap for future research efforts aiming to fill knowledge gaps in understanding and conserving the unparalleled biodiversity of the Gulf of Guinea islands.
Luis M. P. Ceríaco is the head of collections & research and curator of Herpetology at the Natural History and Science Museum (Univ. Porto), also serving as external curator of Herpetology at the National Museum of Natural History and Science (Univ. Lisbon). His main research topics focus on the integrative taxonomy of African vertebrates (especially herpetofauna), nomenclature, history of science and natural history collections. He described several new species of vertebrates and has ongoing research projects in São Tomé & Príncipe, Angola and Namibia. He has been working in the Gulf of Guinea since 2013.
Ricardo F. de Lima is an ecologist and conservation biologist at Ce3C (Center for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Univ. Lisbon), who has worked in São Tomé and Príncipe since 2008. His research focuses on the response of forest biodiversity to human activities, having worked with multiple taxa, from birds and plants to amphibians and snails. Much of his work focuses on translating his findings into conservation priorities, namely by contributing to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
Martim Melo is an evolutionary and conservation biologist at CIBIO (Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Univ. Porto), Head of Exploration of the Natural History and Science Museum (Univ. Porto) and Research Associate at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (Univ. Cape Town). He has worked on the Gulf of Guinea Islands since 1996 – running a research program on the origins and evolution of the avifauna and assisting conservation programs. He has been involved in the taxonomic revision of São Tomé & Príncipe birds and the description of a new endemic owl from Príncipe island. He also runs similar programs in the Afromontane and Scarp forests of Angola and in the Cabo Verde archipelago.
Rayna C. Bell is the curator of Herpetology at the California Academy of Sciences, USA. Her research focuses on the evolution, ecology, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians in sub-Saharan Africa. She has been working in the Gulf of Guinea since 2011 and recently described Hyperolius drewesi, a new species of reed frog endemic to Príncipe Island. She has also documented the presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus in several Central African regions, including São Tomé and Príncipe islands.