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Cameroon mountains
Country/Territory Cameroon,Equatorial Guinea,Nigeria
Area 14,000 
Altitude 800 - 3,000m  
Priority critical 
Habitat loss major 
Knowledge incomplete 

General characteristics 

This EBA comprises the mountains which run south-west to north-east through western Cameroon and adjacent south-eastern Nigeria, and the mountains on the island of Bioko (or Fernando Po; politically part of Equatorial Guinea but lying c.30

Restricted-range species 

The monotypic genera Poliolais and Urolais are endemic to this EBA, and the genus Speirops is only found here and on the islands in the Gulf of Guinea (EBAs 082, 083). The restricted-range species present are all found within Afromontane habitats, principally montane forest, although several of them also range into more open areas. Many of the species appear to have wide altitudinal ranges, but this is largely because montane forest is found at different altitudes in different parts of the EBA. A few species range down into lowland forest in parts of their ranges, and several occur at or near sea-level on the seaward slopes of Mt Cameroon and on Bioko's South Massif.

The distributions of the restricted-range species of this EBA are relatively well known (see Stuart 1986), although recent fieldwork has extended the known ranges of several species in the northern part of the EBA (Smith and McNiven 1993) and Nigeria (Ash et al. 1989). Several species are highly localized in range: Batis poensis and Speirops brunneus are endemic to Bioko, and Francolinus camerunensis and Speirops melanocephalus to Mt Cameroon; Telophorus kupeensis is only known from Mt Kupe, where it is found around the transition from lowland to montane forest; Tauraco bannermani and Platysteira laticincta are restricted to montane forests in the Bamenda-Banso highlands; and Apalis bamendae to riverine vegetation at lower altitudes on the Adamawa plateau and the Bamenda-Banso highlands. Kupeornis gilberti has an unusual distribution in the central part of the EBA, being absent from Mt Cameroon and only recorded from the extreme south of the Bamenda-Banso highlands.

Another taxon confined to this EBA, considered by Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993) to be a full species, is Cameroon Scrub-warbler Bradypterus lopezi, but it is here treated as a form of a more widespread species, Evergreen Forest-warbler B. lopezi, following Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993) and is therefore excluded from this analysis.

Species IUCN Category
Mount Cameroon Francolin (Pternistis camerunensis)  EN 
Cameroon Olive-pigeon (Columba sjostedti)  LC 
Bannerman's Turaco (Tauraco bannermani)  EN 
Fernando Po Batis (Batis poensis)  LC 
Banded Wattle-eye (Platysteira laticincta)  EN 
Monteiro's Bush-shrike (Malaconotus monteiri)  NT 
Mount Kupe Bush-shrike (Telophorus kupeensis)  EN 
Green-breasted Bush-shrike (Malaconotus gladiator)  VU 
Yellow-breasted Boubou (Laniarius atroflavus)  LC 
Grey-necked Picathartes (Picathartes oreas)  VU 
Cameroon Mountain Saw-wing (Psalidoprocne fuliginosa)  LC 
Brown-backed Cisticola (Cisticola discolor)  LC 
Green Longtail (Urolais epichlorus)  LC 
Bamenda Apalis (Apalis bamendae)  LC 
Grey-headed Greenbul (Phyllastrephus poliocephalus)  NT 
Cameroon Montane Greenbul (Andropadus montanus)  NT 
Western Mountain Greenbul (Andropadus tephrolaemus)  LC 
Cameroon Olive Greenbul (Phyllastrephus poensis)  LC 
White-tailed Warbler (Poliolais lopezi)  NT 
Bangwa Forest Warbler (Bradypterus bangwaensis)  NT 
Black-capped Woodland-warbler (Phylloscopus herberti)  LC 
White-throated Mountain-babbler (Kupeornis gilberti)  EN 
Mount Cameroon Speirops (Speirops melanocephalus)  VU 
Fernando Po Speirops (Speirops brunneus)  VU 
Crossley's Ground-thrush (Zoothera crossleyi)  NT 
Mountain Robin-chat (Cossypha isabellae)  LC 
Cameroon Sunbird (Nectarinia oritis)  LC 
Ursula's Sunbird (Nectarinia ursulae)  NT 
Bannerman's Weaver (Ploceus bannermani)  VU 
Fernando Po Oliveback (Nesocharis shelleyi)  LC 

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)

IBA Code Site Name Country
CM009  Tchabal-Mbabo  Cameroon 
CM010  Ngaoundaba Ranch  Cameroon 
CM011  Njinsing - Tabenken  Cameroon 
CM012  Mount Oku  Cameroon 
CM013  Mbi Crater Faunal Reserve - Mbingo forest  Cameroon 
CM014  Mount Mbam  Cameroon 
CM015  Mbam Djerem National Park  Cameroon 
CM016  Bali-Ngemba Forest Reserve  Cameroon 
CM017  Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary  Cameroon 
CM020  Mont Bana  Cameroon 
CM021  Mont Manengouba  Cameroon 
CM022  Bakossi mountains  Cameroon 
CM023  Mont Nlonako  Cameroon 
CM024  Mount Rata and Rumpi Hills Forest Reserve  Cameroon 
CM025  Mount Kupe  Cameroon 
CM027  Mount Cameroon and Mokoko-Onge  Cameroon 
GQ002  Basilé Peak National Park  Equatorial Guinea 
GQ003  Luba Caldera Scientific Reserve  Equatorial Guinea 
NG001  Obudu Plateau  Nigeria 
NG002  Gashaka-Gumti National Park  Nigeria 
NG003  Ngel-Nyaki Forest Reserve  Nigeria 

Threats and conservation 

Forest loss is the main threat to the EBA. This is caused by unsustainable exploitation for timber and firewood, overgrazing, fire damage and agricultural encroachment, and is particularly serious in the Bamenda-Banso highlands (where it is estimated that half of the forest cover was lost between 1965 and 1985), the Obudu plateau and the eastern side of Mt Cameroon (Collar and Stuart 1988). Twelve of the restricted-range species are considered threatened, mainly those with particularly small ranges, or those which occur at low population densities and appear to be restricted to undisturbed forest.

Protected areas which may support some of the restricted-range birds include Cross River and Gashaka/Gumti National Parks in Nigeria (see IUCN 1992b), and several of these species occur in Nta Ali Forest Reserve between the Bakossi range and the Bamenda-Banso highlands (P. Rodewald in litt. 1993). However, most of the important sites in the EBA are not officially protected, including the areas which have their own endemic species: the Bamenda-Banso highlands, Mt Kupe, Mt Cameroon and Bioko. Mt Oku is the largest area of forest remaining in the Bamenda-Banso highlands, and represents the only hope for survival for Tauraco bannermani and Platysteira laticincta (Collar and Stuart 1988). BirdLife International has been running the Kilum-Ijim Mountain Forest Project to conserve the montane forests there for several years (Macleod 1987, Macleod and Parrott 1992, Alpert 1993, Edwards 1993a), and initiated a similar project on Mt Kupe (Bowden and Bowden 1993, Bowden and Andrews 1994) which is now managed by WWF. Mt Cameroon is particularly important because its southern slopes, between Batoke and Isongo, are mainland West Africa's best remaining example of an altitudinal gradient from lowland rain forest to montane forest and grassland (Thomas 1986), and a joint ODA/Cameroon Government project to protect a large section of the mountain has recently been started (L.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Endemic Bird Area factsheet: Cameroon mountains. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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