Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Monts Nimba (part of Mount Nimba transboundary AZE)
8o 22.00' West 7o 42.00' North
A1, A2, A3
450 - 1,752m
Year of IBA assessment
Site description The Nimba massif is located in the extreme south-east of the country, at the point where the international border with Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia meet, some 50 km due east of Nzérékoré. Nimba lies at the eastern end of the Guinea Highlands and rises from the almost flat surrounding plain to 1,752 m at Mont Richard-Molard, which straddles the frontier with Côte d’Ivoire and is the highest point of both countries. The Nimba massif is some 40 km long and the largest and most dramatic part of it is in Guinea. The Nimba mountains are dissected by deep, richly forested valleys with abrupt cliff-faces between plateaux, rounded hilltops, rocky peaks and bare granitic blocks. There are three major vegetation-types within the reserve; grassland, forest and wooded savanna. High-altitude grassland with Loudetia kagerensis occurs near the summit with woody plants such as Protea occidentalis on the slopes. Forest remnants at high altitude are dominated by Myrtaceae, with the tree-fern Cyathula cylindrica in ravines. At lower altitudes savanna occurs, interspersed by gallery forests (with Parinari excelsa) between 1,000 m and 1,600 m. Primary forest is located mainly on the foothills and in the valleys, with Triplochiton scleroxylon, Chlorophora regia, Morus mesozygia, Terminalia ivorensis, Lophira procera, Tarrietia utilis and Mapania spp. among the dominants. Drier, mid-altitude forests are found at the northern end, in which Piptadeniastrum africanum and Parkia bicolor are conspicuous elements. The whole area constitutes a vast water catchment; mean annual rainfall in the less wet Guinean parts is around 2,000 mm. The site is contiguous with IBAs CI003 and LR004 in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia respectively.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. This is the only site in the country from which Prinia leontica is known. There is relatively little information available on the birds of Guinean Monts Nimba, but the avifauna is likely to be similar to that recorded from the Liberian part of the mountain. Many more species than are currently known may therefore be expected to occur, including up to 16 species of global conservation concern.
Non-bird biodiversity: The floristic and faunistic importance of Monts Nimba is considerable. Endemic plants include the fern Asplenium schnelli and the flowering plants Blaeria nimbana, Osbeckia porteresii and Dolichos nimbaensis. More than 500 species of fauna new to science have been described from specimens collected in the Mount Nimba Reserve. Endemics include an amphibian Schoutedenella nimbaensis, known only from the type-locality in Guinea, a viviparous toad Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis (EN) and an aquatic insectivore Micropotamogale lamottei (EN). Other, non-endemic, mammals of global conservation concern include Colobus polykomos (LR/nt), Procolobus badius (LR/nt), Cercopithecus diana (VU), Pan troglodytes (EN), Hexaprotodon liberiensis (VU) and Genetta johnstoni (DD).