Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Outamba-Kilimi National Park
Sierra Leone, Northern Province
12o 13.00' West 9o 45.00' North
200 - 480m
Year of IBA assessment
Conservation Society of Sierra Leone
Site description Outamba-Kilimi National Park is situated in the north of Sierra Leone, close to the border with the Republic of Guinea. It is located within the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome, but isolated patches of forest occur within the park. The park is split into two areas, Outamba (74,100 ha) and Kilimi (36,800 ha), between which lies an unprotected strip of land 25 km long by 40 km wide. The predominant vegetation is a mosaic of grassland, closed woodland and gallery forest. Outamba supports mainly tall-grass savanna and moist woodland with small areas of closed-canopy forest, while a more open savanna woodland with shorter grasses occurs in Kilimi, together with patches of boliland. Small areas of raphia palm swamp-forest and riverine grassland are found in both. The terrain is mostly flat with few hills. A number of large rivers flow south-west through the park; the Mongo and Little Scarcies across Outamba and the Great Scarcies through Kilimi. The land is generally unsuitable for agriculture. Parts of the park may be inaccessible at the height of the wet season (July–August) due to flooding of the Little Scarcies river.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. A total of 256 species have been recorded from the park, including three species of global conservation concern, one of which, Circus macrourus, is only a rare migrant through the area. The other two, Ceratogymna elata and Laniarius turatii, are among 25 species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome that have been recorded (see Table 3). Notable among the species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome is Coccycolius iris. Seasonally, the park supports many waterbirds, often including thousands of Bubulcus ibis.
Non-bird biodiversity: The site is an important refuge for the following primate species: Pan troglodytes verus (EN), Procolobus badius (LR/nt), Colobus polykomus (LR/nt) and Cercocebus atys (LR/nt). Other mammals include Loxodonta africana cyclotis (EN), Hexaprotodon liberensis (VU), Hyemoschus aquaticus (LR/nt) and Cephalophus maxwelli (LR/nt).