Updated: May 20
We asked Sophie, who completed a placement with us last year to tell us about her and Robyn's project which we brought to our Rainforest Ball at Kew Gardens in March 2019! Look out for these cards in our Gorilla Club!
As part of our stage 2 Zoology Employability module at Newcastle University we undertook a 3 month placement with the Cross River Gorilla Project (CRGP). Our main task was to promote the biodiversity of the Lebialam Highlands in the Cameroon, home to the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla. The challenge was to convey information about the biodiversity present in the area in an informative yet fun and creative manner. We suggested game cards, based on the popular Top Trump card game, and thus ‘Lebialem Life’ cards were born. Ideally the cards were to represent both the flora and fauna of the area; however, following much research and discussion we decided that it would be impractical to attempt to categorise such diverse kingdoms and thus, based on the charity’s focus on the Cross River Gorilla, our focus for the cards was on local fauna.
Once we had completed our initial species research, our next challenge was to decide what categories would best showcase and provide the most information on our chosen species and which would also be appropriate for CRGP fundraisers and educational purposes. This proved more challenging than we initially expected as not all species had the same amount of data available making it difficult to decide on 5 categories. In the end, we decided upon: average lifespan, rarity – in the terms of the IUCN red list -, weight, noise level and a category we designed called ‘Lebialem Life’ where individual species were rated based on their relative importance both ecologically within the rainforest and to the indigenous people.
Once all the ground work was complete and approved our next task was card design. This proved initially quite tricky as neither of us had experience designing tangible products on Publisher. However, following some research into how to use Publisher effectively to design cards we set about creating the ‘Lebialem Life’ cards. Following many designs and editorial changes based on comments and advice from CRGP members, our friends and family the final design was approved and sent for printing. It was decided that the cards would be produced in two different sizes: A5 size for fundraisers and card sized for goodie bags and to send to children out in the Cameroon.
A highlight of the whole process for us was definitely seeing the printed cards in the flesh and having guests at Kew Gardens use and engage with the cards at CRGP’s fundraiser earlier this year.
Click through the gallery!