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Upper Guinea forests
Country/Territory Côte d'Ivoire,Ghana,Guinea,Liberia,Sierra Leone
Area 340,000 
Altitude 0 - 1,000m  
Priority critical 
Habitat loss major 
Knowledge incomplete 

General characteristics 

One of Africa's two major lowland rain forest regions (see White 1983), the Upper Guinea forest originally covered most of Sierra Leone, south-east Guinea, Liberia, southern Ivory Coast and south-west Ghana, but much of this area is now deforested. The restricted-range species are mainly confined to the lowland rain forests of Upper Guinea, although one ranges up to 1,550

Restricted-range species 

The distribution and status of the birds of the Upper Guinea forests are generally rather poorly known, although recent survey work has generated much new information (Allport 1991, Demey and Fishpool 1991, Francis et al. 1992, Thompson 1993, Wood 1993, Atkinson et al. 1994b, Fishpool et al. 1994, Gartshore et al. 1995). Phyllastrephus leucolepis, Melaenornis annamarulae and Malimbus ballmanni were all described as new to science in the past 25 years, and at least two undescribed bird species are suspected to occur in the EBA (Allport 1991).

All the species endemic to the Upper Guinea forest are here considered to have restricted ranges, because, although the forest originally covered several hundred thousand square kilometres, this area was already much reduced when ornithological exploration began, and few (if any) of the species appear to occur throughout the region (see Hall and Moreau 1970, Snow 1978). Many of these species are known from scattered records in most countries of the EBA, but Phyllastrephus leucolepis, Melaenornis annamarulae and Malimbus ballmanni (see Gatter and Gardner 1993) appear to be limited to the wet/dry mosaic forests in the west, in western Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea; Phyllastrephus leucolepis is only known from a single locality in Liberia, where it has been found in the transitional zone between evergreen and semi-deciduous tropical rain forest (Allport 1991).

Prinia leontica has rather different habitat requirements from the other species, being associated with gallery forest in the Guinea highlands in the EBA's north-west, at 500-1,550

Species IUCN Category
White-breasted Guineafowl (Agelastes meleagrides)  VU 
Rufous Fishing-owl (Scotopelia ussheri)  VU 
Brown-cheeked Hornbill (Bycanistes cylindricus)  VU 
Western Wattled Cuckooshrike (Campephaga lobata)  VU 
White-necked Picathartes (Picathartes gymnocephalus)  VU 
White-eyed Prinia (Prinia leontica)  VU 
Sharpe's Apalis (Apalis sharpii)  LC 
Liberian Greenbul (Phyllastrephus leucolepis)  CR 
Green-tailed Bristlebill (Bleda eximius)  NT 
Yellow-bearded Greenbul (Criniger olivaceus)  VU 
Black-headed Rufous Warbler (Bathmocercus cerviniventris)  NT 
Rufous-winged Illadopsis (Illadopsis rufescens)  NT 
Copper-tailed Glossy-starling (Lamprotornis cupreocauda)  NT 
Nimba Flycatcher (Melaenornis annamarulae)  VU 
Gola Malimbe (Malimbus ballmanni)  EN 

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)

IBA Code Site Name Country
CI002  Sangbe Mountain National Park  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI003  Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI004  Gueoule and Glo Mountain Forest Reserves  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI005  Peko Mountain National Park  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI006  Marahoue National Park  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI007  Bossematie Forest Reserve  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI008  Cavally and Goin - Debe Forest Reserves  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI009  Lamto Ecological Research Station  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI010  Mabi Forest reserve  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI011  Tai National Park and Nzo Faunal Reserve  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI012  Mopri Forest Reserve  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI013  Yapo and Mambo Forest Reserves  Côte d'Ivoire 
CI014  Azagny National Park  Côte d'Ivoire 
GH001  Ankasa Resource Reserve - Nini-Sushien National Park  Ghana 
GH002  Atewa Range Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH003  Bia National Park and Resource Reserve  Ghana 
GH004  Boin Tano Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH005  Boin River Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH006  Bosomtwe Range Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH007  Bura River Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH008  Cape Three Points Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH009  Dadieso Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH010  Draw River Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH011  Ebi River Shelterbelt Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH012  Fure River Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH013  Jema-Asemkrom Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH014  Kakum National Park - Assin Attandaso Resource Reserve  Ghana 
GH015  Mamiri Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH016  Mount Afadjato - Agumatsa Range forest  Ghana 
GH017  Nsuensa Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH018  Pra-Sushien Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH019  Subri River Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH020  Tano-Anwia Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH021  Tano-Ehuro Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH022  Tano-Nimiri Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH023  Tano-Offin Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH024  Yoyo River Forest Reserve  Ghana 
GH038  Kyabobo (proposed) National Park  Ghana 
GN010  Gangan Foret Classe  Guinea 
GN014  Kounounkan  Guinea 
GN016  Massif du Ziama  Guinea 
GN017  Monts Nimba (part of Mount Nimba transboundary AZE)  Guinea 
GN018  Diécké  Guinea 
LR001  Wologizi mountains  Liberia 
LR002  Wonegizi mountains  Liberia 
LR003  Lofa-Gola-Mano Complex  Liberia 
LR004  Nimba mountains  Liberia 
LR006  Zwedru  Liberia 
LR007  Cestos - Senkwen  Liberia 
LR008  Sapo  Liberia 
LR009  Grebo  Liberia 
SL003  Loma Mountains Non-hunting Forest Reserve  Sierra Leone 
SL004  Tingi Hills Non-hunting Forest Reserve  Sierra Leone 
SL006  Kangari Hills Non-hunting Forest Reserve  Sierra Leone 
SL007  Western Area Peninsula Non-hunting Forest Reserve  Sierra Leone 
SL009  Kambui Hills Forest Reserve  Sierra Leone 
SL010  Gola Forest Reserve  Sierra Leone 

Threats and conservation 

Allport (1991) estimated that c.77% of the EBA's original forest has been lost, mainly as a result of logging, agricultural encroachment and mining; the less than 80,000

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Endemic Bird Area factsheet: Upper Guinea forests. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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