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Location Guinea, Kankan
Central coordinates 10o 17.00' West  10o 23.00' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 208,800 ha
Altitude 300 - 600m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description The site is located in the eastern lowlands, immediately west of the town of Kouroussa. It includes the core area of the Haut Niger National Park, centred on Mafou Forest Reserve, which covers an area of 52,000 ha, together with the surrounding Controlled Hunting Zone, which occupies a further 156,800 ha. Excluded, however, is the larger, encircling buffer zone of a further 392,400 ha. As defined therefore, the site is bounded by the roads linking the towns of Kouroussa, Banfélé, Faranah, N’Déma, Cisséla and Kouroussa. The area is drained by the Niantan river, flowing east from the Fouta Djalon, and by the northward flowing Mafou river from the Guinea Highlands, which unite at the north-east corner of Mafou Forest Reserve to become the Niger. The area is a relatively flat granitic plateau with greater relief provided by some stream valleys.Mafou Forest Reserve is uninhabited, almost untouched savanna woodland with gallery forest along the larger rivers, other forest patches in depressions and bowé. The closed forests are dominated by Chlorophora excelsa, Erythrophleum guineense, Nauclea latifolia, N. pobeginii, Pterocarpus santalinoides, Syzygium guineense and Vitex doniana. The savanna habitat comprises woodland, wooded grassland and grass savanna on laterite. The woodland formations are characterized by the trees Afrormosia laxiflora, Combretum glutinosum, Danniellia oliveri, Annona senegalensis, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Lophira lanceolata and Uapaca togoensis. There are also areas of dense Isoberlinia (I. doka and I. dalzielli) woodland. The grasslands are dominated by Andropogon gayanus, Hyparrhenia spp. and Imperata cylindrica. Annual rainfall is between 1,500 and 1,700 mm.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Bearded Barbet Pogonornis dubius resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fox Kestrel Falco alopex resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Violet Turaco Musophaga violacea resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-bellied Roller Coracias cyanogaster resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Shrike Corvinella corvina resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Piapiac Ptilostomus afer resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pied-winged Swallow Hirundo leucosoma resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sun Lark Galerida modesta resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Oriole Warbler Hypergerus atriceps resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blackcap Babbler Turdoides reinwardii resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Purple Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureus resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bronze-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis chalcurus resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-crowned Robin-chat Cossypha albicapilla resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-fronted Black-chat Myrmecocichla albifrons resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Gambaga Flycatcher Muscicapa gambagae breeding  1997  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Splendid Sunbird Nectarinia coccinigaster resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser superciliosus resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bush Petronia Petronia dentata resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-cheeked Oliveback Nesocharis capistrata resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-winged Pytilia Pytilia phoenicoptera resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-faced Pytilia Pytilia hypogrammica resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dybowski's Twinspot Euschistospiza dybowskii resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-breasted Firefinch Lagonosticta rufopicta resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-bellied Firefinch Lagonosticta rara resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lavender Waxbill Estrilda caerulescens resident  1997  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Niger-Mafou Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 1,015,450 protected area contains site 208,800  
Previously called Mafou Classified Forest National Park 52,400 protected area contained by site 52,400  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   18%
Unknown   36%
Shrubland   1%
Forest   44%

Land use

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

Other biodiversity The mammal Loxodonta africana (EN) occurs.

References Nikolaus (2000).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mafou. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/10/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife