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Location Gambia, Western Division
Central coordinates 16o 38.00' West  13o 22.00' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 134 ha
Altitude 0 - 30m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description Abuko is a small area of fenced forest and woodland located on the main south bank road, 3 km from the edge of the main urban centre of Serekunda. The Lamin stream flows through the centre of the reserve. Bordering the stream is the largest and most botanically rich example of semi-evergreen forest in the country. Forest covers approximately one third of the area of the reserve. Characteristic canopy tree species are Elaeis guineensis, Khaya senegalensis, Erythrophleum guineense, Chlorophora regia and Anthocleista procera. There is an abundance of lianas and a dense understorey in more open areas, smothered by the climber Saba senegalensis. Away from the stream the forest merges into savanna woodland. There are several pools and patches of tall swamp vegetation along the lower reaches of the stream.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. The reserve is probably the most intensively birdwatched forest in West Africa. Abuko has the richest assemblage in the country of species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome. Characteristic species which are locally common here include Tauraco persa, Tockus fasciatus, Andropadus virens, Hylia prasina, Apalis flavida and Terpsiphone rufiventer. Other notable breeding species include Gorsachius leuconotus and Accipiter tachiro. In addition, one species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome occurs; see Table 2.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals of global conservation concern include Procolobus badius temminckii (EN). Abuko is the only breeding locality known in the country for the crocodile Osteolaemus tetrapsis (VU).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ahanta Francolin Pternistis ahantensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-legged Sparrowhawk Accipiter erythropus resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
White-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura pulchra resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Turaco Tauraco persa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tockus fasciatus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Spotted Honeyguide Indicator maculatus resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Buff-spotted Woodpecker Campethera nivosa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Shrike-flycatcher Megabyas flammulatus resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fanti Saw-wing Psalidoprocne obscura resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-green Camaroptera Camaroptera chloronota resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Swamp Greenbul Thescelocichla leucopleura resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Leaf-love Pyrrhurus scandens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Bristlebill Bleda canicapillus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Nicator Nicator chloris resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Green Hylia Hylia prasina resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Crombec Sylvietta virens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Gray's Malimbe Malimbus nitens resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita bicolor resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Western Bluebill Spermophaga haematina resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Abuko Nature Reserve 107 protected area contained by site 107  

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

References Wacher (1993).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Abuko Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2014

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