Hippo Specialist Group


Hippo Specialist Group

The IUCN SSC Hippo Specialist Group promotes scientifically-based action for the conservation of common and pygmy hippos.

Workshop for Developing an Action Plan for Conservation of Common Hippopotamus in Western Africa Abidjan

Autumn, 2024

The workshop will take place at: Le Centre d'excellence WASCAL / CEA-CCBAD in Bingerville, Côte d'Ivoire.

The workshop will be co-hosted by Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d'Ivoire (CSRS) and UFR Biosciences of the Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Côte d'Ivoire

The workshop represents the official action of the Hippo Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Species Survival Commission (HSG, IUCN SSC)

If you would like to support the workshop, contact Prof. Karim Ouattara (karim.ouattara@csrs.ci), please. 

Workshop should focus for 13 range-countries: Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Côte-d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Niger, and Nigeria.

Regional Coordinators are Prof. Ollo Théophille Dibloni & Dr. Lynne Baker.


Update on situation of common hippos in Southern Chad

Annual massacres of hippos on the Chad-Central African Republic border (report from The African Parks Network APN-Aouk team, in South Chad):

- Between April 2020 and March 2024, 167 hippos were slaughtered in the Chari-Aouk-Keïta area; between 2018 and 2023, in addition 20 people were killed in events linked to hippos;

- The current population of hippos in this area is estimated at around 200 individuals, 75% of which are in Chari river alone;

- These acts of poaching in Chadian territory are the work of poachers coming from Sudan and transiting through the north of Central African territory;

- A strong reaction from national authorities and their partners managing protected areas is expected to preserve the species.

Newsletter is here

Read the most recent issue of Suiform Soundings with the article about hippos! You can find all the issues of the newsletter here.

CoP in Panama sorted the proposal to change status of common hippopotamus in CITES

Nineteen Conference of Parties (CoP) CITES was held in Panama City, Panama in November 14-25, 2022. Among discussed point was the proposal for transfer of common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) from Apendix II to Appendix I. Before CoP the IUCN SSC together with TRAFFIC and WWF prepared very comprehensive analysis including up-to-date reports from our members (Hippo SG IUCN SSC) and using literature review. Based on this information, we cannot recommend to support the proposal.

The discussion on CoP was quite long, however did not include new arguments. The proposal went for voting with the result of 56 (50%) parties for and 56 (50%) parties against (acceptance required 2/3 votes for by all Parties present). Thus, the proposal was not accepted in line with the recommendation of our group (Hippo SG) that did not find the biological evidence for the proposal. Some Parties suggested to introduce quotas for countries sufferring by ivory trade. Nevertheless, this suggestion was rejected as well. At the end of the Conference "Hippo proposal" was reopenned again. This time the rejection was even stronger (53 /47%/ votes for; 58 /52%/ against). The listing of common hippopotamus in CITES remain in Appendix II.

Human-Hippo Conflict and Coexistence Survey

Ten African countries accuse EU of failing to protect hippos

Brussels' plan to oppose a total international ban on trade in hippopotamus products puts species at risk, says letter signed by states, including Mali, Niger and Senegal. Read more info here.

For a planned survey focusing on human-wildlife conflict and coexistence involving the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), the project team (Drs. Simon Pooley, Lynne Baker, and Camille Fritsch) are developing a database of contacts with whom the survey can be shared. Contacts include researchers, conservation practitioners, and wildlife managers working in hippo conservation or management, or working in sites where hippo populations occur. If this describes you or a colleague, please send the following contact details to Mr. Edward Kadala at eddy.bright4u@gmail.com: 1) first name and last name (surname), 2) phone with country code, 3) Email address, and 4) focal country or countries. Thank you.

Enquête sur la coexistence et le conflit entre les hippopotames et les gens

Nous planifiions l'enquête qui se concerne au conflit et à la coexistence entre les gens et l'hippopotame d'amphibie (Hippopotamus amphibius). Les chefs de ce projet (Dr. Simon Pooley, Dr. Lynne Baker, et Dr. Camille Fritsch) préparent la base de données des contacts des personnes intéressants. Ces personnes y compris des chercheurs, des conservationnistes, les gestionnaires de Ia faune sauvage qui travaillent avec les hippopotames ou qui travaillent dans les endroits où les hippopotames apparaissent. Si vous ou vos collègues sont intéressés par ce projet, envoyez les détails de contact à M. Edward Kadala eddy.bright4u@gmail.com les données suivantes : (1) le prénom et le nom de famille, (2) téléphone y compris le code d'état, (3) adresse courrielle électronique et (4) le pays ou les pays où vous effectuez vos travaux. Remerciements anticipés.

Newsletter available

Read the latest issue of the newsletter Suiform Soundings. You can find a lot of interesting information from the Hippo Speciaist Group (HSG), Specialist Groups for Wild Pigs (WPSG) and Peccaries (PSG).

The Annual Report is here!

Read the annual report of Hippo Specialist Group. You can find the information about our projects, targets, research activities and plans.

The project of the Hippo Specialist Group was chosen to be awarded by SSC internal Grant Program

In the eight round of this Grant Competition, the project of our member Lynne Baker entitled: Regional planning workshop: Hippo-human coexistence at large dam reservoirs in Nigeria was recommended to be funded. Congratulations! The project aims to organize regional participatory workshop with stakeholders to promote information sharing and collaboration in the region identified in the latest Red List Assessment as most in need of immediate conservation action. Stakeholders will further develop the roadmap and action plan for Reservoir Conservation and Development in Northeastern Nigeria. 

First twins in wild common hippo

Our member Lynne R. Baker has just reported the first observation of twins in wild common hippopotamus. The female with two offspring of the same body size was repeatedly observed in Gongola River in Northwestern Nigeria. In worldwide zoos, in total 17 twins were recorded in the last 170 years of hippo breeding, representing less than 1% of all births.

Mixed-exhibits involving both hippo species in zoos

Krisztián Svábik from Toni's Zoo (Lucern, Switzerland) has compiled the comprehensive list of mixed-exhibits involving both hippo species in zoos worldwide. You can download PDF of this highly interesting document here.

Counting hippos on the river Rusizi

See how the hippos are monitored in DCR's South Kivu province. You can find more info directly at the project.

Members of HSG participated on publication of interesting article

"One Plan Approach to save species -a new integrative Regional Collection Plan for hippos, pigs, peccaries, and tapirs" this is the name of new article that was published also thanks to authors from our team. You will find out how important it is to use in situ and ex situ knowledge together on the way to conservation of animal species. You can download the full text here.

New pubication of the Hippo Specialist Group

See the latest publications of Hippo Specialist Group. The global pygmy hippo studbook 2021 and Suiform Soundings newsletter has just been published.

Statement Regarding Free-Ranging Hippos in Colombia

In Colombia, there are free-ranging hippos who escaped from the house of drug lord Pablo Escobar. As they have no predator in Colombia they breed very fast. However, it is invasive species and the breeding has to be controled. You can read the Hippo Specialist Group Statement Regarding Free-Ranging Hippos in Colombia here.

The Hippo Specialist Group was granted

The chair of IUCN SSC Jon Paul Rodriguez granted Hippo Specialist Group for its outstanding contribution in delivering the Species Strategic Plan and the excellent work carried out during the 2020.

We are very glad to receive this appreciation that motivates us to more work for conservation of both the hippo species.  


Second newsletter of the year 2021 is here. You can read all the issues here

New article about hippos from SAR

Read the new article written by members of our group members.

Dead hippo in DCR

Dead hippo was found in the DRC province of South Kivu near the village Ake. Therefore, the army arrested five people suspected of killing of the animal. However, the incident needs to be investigated. Hippos are protected  and killing is a crime. One of the projects of our specialist group (HSG) takes place in this area.

Common Hippo

Pygmy Hippo