Reptiles and Amphibians are of a larger part of the biodiversity of Sierra Leone but so far little is known about their status. It is not locally clear how many species of reptiles and amphibians we have in the country though there are records but existing in fragments and majority are not supported with photos for proper clarification.
This is a gap that needs attention since most species including mammals, birds, fishes, butterflies and plants have been registered and information on them are readily easily accessible. For the herps (amphibians and reptiles), there is hardly a place to run to for a comprehensive information except the Wildlife Conservation Unit (WCU) of Sierra Leone, at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) but also information at WCU so far are in text with little or no photos to support records.
The lack of herpetologist or an organization dealing with reptiles and amphibians has always resulted in the exclusion of reptiles and amphibians in most biodiversity surveys or registry. Almost all surveys done on reptiles and amphibians are largely done by foreign nationals; therefore; the need for a local organization and a herpetologist in the country is eminent. This is the reason for setting up RAP-SL.
RAP-SL has started a national survey of reptiles and amphibians in Sierra Leone and we hope to continue in this vein for five years so that we can document as much evidences as we can. We are aiming at raising as much funds as we can so that we can train more and get more outside there collecting data.
Should you want to contribute to this effort please do send us a quick email, we need materials including cameras, GPS, bags, field guides, vehicles, camping materials, headlights etc. etc. and funds. There is nothing too small for this effort.