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Location Benin, Borgou
Central coordinates 2o 25.00' East  9o 9.00' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 465,342 ha
Altitude 150 - 620m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description This site is a diverse area in the centre of the country, comprising the three contiguous forest reserves of the Forêt Classée de l’Ouémé Supérieur (09º35’N 02º30’E; 177,542 ha), the Forêt Classée de Ouari-Maro (09º09’N 02º25’E; 107,500 ha) and the Forêt Classée des Monts Kouffé (08º45’N 02º06’E; 180,300 ha). The former two straddle the Ouémé river west and south-west of the town of Parakou, and are separated from each other by the Parakou–Natitingou road, while the latter is to the south of these, with the Ouémé river forming its eastern boundary and the Adjiro river its southern and western borders.The area is within the Northern Guinea savanna zone and the main vegetation-types include savanna woodland up to 20 m high, with a dense understorey dominated by Afzelia africana, Daniella oliveri and Khaya senegalensis, and dense semi-deciduous forest, occurring in small patches in the western part of Monts Kouffé Forest Reserve towards the border with Togo and in the Monts Kouffé themselves in the centre of the reserve, and consisting of tall trees up to 40 m high (Antiaris africana, Ceiba pentandra, Cola cordifolia, Milicia excelsa and Ricinodendron heudelotii) over a subcanopy layer dominated by Dialium guineensis, Mimusops andongensis, Holarrhena floribunda, Drypetes floribunda and Malacantha alnifolia. Similar vegetation forms gallery forest along rivers and thinner riverine forest also occurs. In addition, the IBA encompasses rocky outcrops, small ponds and marshes next to the Ouémé river. Average annual rainfall is 1,200 mm, mostly falling between May and October.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. The area is important due to its large size and relatively undisturbed habitat. It is one of the few places in the country where Ceratogymna albotibialis occurs and is a refuge for many of the rarer birds of prey (e.g. Haliaeetus vocifer) and passerines. Circus macrourus has been recorded occasionally in January and November. The area has yet to be surveyed comprehensively.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals of global conservation concern include Cephalophus maxwelli (LR/nt), C. silvicultor (LR/nt) and C. rufilatus (LR/cd). The IBA includes the type-locality, and the only one known in Benin, for the grasshopper Truxaloides chekei.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Bearded Barbet Pogonornis dubius resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ahanta Francolin Pternistis ahantensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-legged Sparrowhawk Accipiter erythropus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Turaco Tauraco persa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Violet Turaco Musophaga violacea resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-bellied Roller Coracias cyanogaster resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bycanistes fistulator resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Tockus fasciatus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Dwarf Hornbill Lophoceros camurus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes subcylindricus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-thighed Hornbill Bycanistes albotibialis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Shrike Corvinella corvina resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Piapiac Ptilostomus afer resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fanti Saw-wing Psalidoprocne obscura resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pied-winged Swallow Hirundo leucosoma resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Leaf-love Pyrrhurus scandens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Greenbul Phyllastrephus albigularis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Nicator Nicator chloris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blackcap Babbler Turdoides reinwardii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Capuchin Babbler Phyllanthus atripennis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Purple Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bronze-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis chalcurus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-fronted Black-chat Myrmecocichla albifrons resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cassin's Grey Flycatcher Muscicapa cassini resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Splendid Sunbird Nectarinia coccinigaster resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Heuglin's Masked-weaver Ploceus heuglini resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita fusconotus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-cheeked Oliveback Nesocharis capistrata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-winged Pytilia Pytilia phoenicoptera resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Firefinch Lagonosticta larvata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lavender Waxbill Estrilda caerulescens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Long-tailed Paradise-whydah Vidua interjecta resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Monts Kouffé Classified Forest 180,000 protected area contained by site 180,000  
Ouari Maro Classified Forest 107,500 protected area contained by site 107,500  
Ouémé Superieur Classified Forest 177,542 protected area contained by site 177,542  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Unknown   1%
Shrubland   9%
Forest   87%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
nature conservation and research -
water management -

References Claffey (1995, 1999a,b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ouémé river basin. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/11/2014

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