About us


Meet the Project

What We Do

The “Forest Giants“ project wants to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity conservation, and the role of each person for its safeguards, using the story of the unique threatened Obô Giant Snail (Archachatina bicarinata), to promote the protection of the native forests and the unique malacofauna of São Tomé and Principe, Central Africa.

Where is it located?

São Tomé and Príncipe, Central Africa, are oceanic islands of volcanic origin. Their isolation from the African continent, through thousands of years, lead to the differentiation of several unique species– the endemics. Most of these species live in the tropical forest of the islands, the Obô forest. Due to a high number of threatened endemics, São Tomé and Príncipe belong to the Guinean Forests of West Africa hotspot, which holds one of the richest and most threatened biodiversities of the planet. On the islands, it is possible to find about 86 species of terrestrial snails and slugs, most of them only exists in these islands (~60%).

When did the project started?

The project officially started in 2018. However, the data collected by researchers and conservation organizations before that year, made it possible to assess the critical situation of the species and decide to act by creating the project.

Our Mission

The Obô Giant Snail is one of countless species suffering a rapid decline due to habitat destruction, overharvesting and introduction of invasive species. Engaging people in biodiversity conservation is critical for its effectiveness, and we are using this species to represent the unique biodiversity and malacological fauna of São Tomé and Príncipe Islands.

The Team

Gabriel Oquiongo


Martina Panisi

Conservation Biologist & Environmental Educator

Vasco Pissarra

Ecologist & Photographer

Ineais Dias

Snail Keeper

Contributors and volunteers: Dr. Ricardo de Lima (Lisbon University), Ruggero Tozzo (Alisei NGO), Tiziano Pisoni (Alisei NGO), Beatriz Narciso, Catarina Narciso, Wilson Vieira, Hana Heimerdinger, Leonor Tavares (Lisbon University), Ana Rita Pereira (Lisbon University), Francisco Alamõ (Parque Natural Obô), Rute Suana  (Direcção das Florestas e da Biodiversidade), Jezreel Lima (Associação Monte Pico), Bruzinay Neto, Aristides Santana (Associação Monte Pico), David Holyoak.