This study is aimed at highlighting aspects of the management of protected areas within rural communities in the Mount Cameroon Region of West Africa. The region is characterised by rapid exploration of the natural forest through illegal practices of poaching. This has led to the rapid extinction of animals such as the drills. This has been a major problem as it impedes sustainable forest development. The following areas were considered in this study: Limbe Wildlife Centre, Limbe Botanical and Zoological Gardens. Bimbia Bonadikombo Community Forest, Mount Cameroon Forest, Bakingili Community Forest, Mount Cameroon National Park and Mabeta risk zone. Data was collected through interviews, field observation and the review of documents. Results of the study showed that local people, often through illegal forest exploration, serve as a great threat to forest sustenance by causing a rise in endangered species and the extinction of certain animals and plants.
Keywords: rural economies, protected communities, applied anthropology, Africa, economic development, rural communities, Mount Cameroon, sustainable forest development, Africa, sustainable development, sustainability, protected areas, poaching, forest management, endangered species, plant extinction, animal extinction, protected area management