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Location Sierra Leone, Western Area
Central coordinates 13o 10.00' West  8o 23.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 17,688 ha
Altitude 200 - 900m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Conservation Society of Sierra Leone



Site description The Western Area Peninsula Forest (WAPF) Reserve is part of the Freetown peninsula, a narrow chain of undulating hills approximately 37 km long and 14 km wide, with peaks reaching 900 m. It contains the only remaining patch of tropical rainforest in west Sierra Leone. A thin strip of shoreline bounds it to the north, west and south. Freetown, with a population of 800,000 (1992 census), occupies the northern end of the peninsula and several settlements are found along the roads leading from the capital. The interior hills are unpopulated, but much wood-cutting and, to a lesser extent, farming occur within the Forest Reserve, especially around the boundaries. The vegetation is mainly closed-canopy, lowland evergreen forest, interrupted by laterite plains covered with natural grassland. The relief is generally fairly steep and hills are drained by a number of rocky, seasonally flowing streams. The reserve includes two major dams that supply water to Freetown and other communities around the peninsula.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. A total of 314 species have been recorded from the site, including 91 certain/probable breeders and a number of migrants that occasionally visit water-bodies in and around the reserve. The WAPF holds five species of global conservation concern. Two active colonies, with five nests, of Picathartes gymnocephalus have been discovered in this reserve; six other nesting sites are known, but are either abandoned or are of uncertain activity status.

Non-bird biodiversity: The WAPF supports the following primate species: Pan troglodytes verus (EN), Procolobus badius (LR/nt), Colobus polykomus (LR/nt), Cercocebus atys (LR/nt) and Cercopithecus diana (VU). Other fauna known from this site include three species of duiker, Cephalopus jentinki (VU), C. niger (LR/nt) and C. maxwelli (LR/nt), as well as the frog Cardioglossa aureoli.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gymnobucco calvus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Speckled Tinkerbird Pogoniulus scolopaceus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-rumped Tinkerbird Pogoniulus atroflavus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-throated Tinkerbird Pogoniulus subsulphureus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Barbet Buccanodon duchaillui resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Forest Francolin Peliperdix lathami resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ahanta Francolin Pternistis ahantensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-crested Tiger-heron Tigriornis leucolopha resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-legged Sparrowhawk Accipiter erythropus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cassin's Hawk-eagle Aquila africana resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Nkulengu Rail Himantornis haematopus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-throated Rail Canirallus oculeus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Afep Pigeon Columba unicincta resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Western Bronze-naped Pigeon Columba iriditorques resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-headed Wood-dove Turtur brehmeri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Psittacus erithacus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Green Turaco Tauraco persa resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Turaco Tauraco macrorhynchus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx mechowi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bubo poensis resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Sabine's Spinetail Rhaphidura sabini resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-throated Roller Eurystomus gularis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher Halcyon badia resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Kingfisher Corythornis leucogaster resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black Bee-eater Merops gularis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tropicranus albocristatus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Tockus fasciatus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata resident  2000  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Cassin's Honeybird Prodotiscus insignis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spotted Honeyguide Indicator maculatus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Willcocks's Honeyguide Indicator willcocksi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dendropicos gabonensis resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Little Green Woodpecker Campethera maculosa resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Buff-spotted Woodpecker Campethera nivosa resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-eared Woodpecker Campethera caroli resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fire-bellied Woodpecker Dendropicos pyrrhogaster resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Shrike-flycatcher Megabyas flammulatus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fiery-breasted Bush-shrike Malaconotus cruentus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Large-billed Puffback Dryoscopus sabini resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Turati's Boubou Laniarius turatii resident  2000  present  A1, A3  Least Concern 
Western Black-headed Oriole Oriolus brachyrhynchus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shining Drongo Dicrurus atripennis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-headed Crested-flycatcher Trochocercus nitens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Square-tailed Saw-wing Psalidoprocne nitens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sharpe's Apalis Apalis sharpii resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Olive-green Camaroptera Camaroptera chloronota resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Greenbul Andropadus gracilis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ansorge's Greenbul Andropadus ansorgei resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Plain Greenbul Andropadus curvirostris resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Golden Greenbul Calyptocichla serina resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Honeyguide Greenbul Baeopogon indicator resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Simple Greenbul Chlorocichla simplex resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Icterine Greenbul Phyllastrephus icterinus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Common Bristlebill Bleda syndactylus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green-tailed Bristlebill Bleda eximius resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Grey-headed Bristlebill Bleda canicapillus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bearded Bulbul Criniger barbatus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-tailed Bulbul Criniger calurus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Nicator Nicator chloris resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kemp's Longbill Macrosphenus kempi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Longbill Macrosphenus concolor resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Hylia Hylia prasina resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lemon-bellied Crombec Sylvietta denti resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-winged Illadopsis Illadopsis rufescens resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Puvel's Illadopsis Illadopsis puveli resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Illadopsis Illadopsis fulvescens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Capuchin Babbler Phyllanthus atripennis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Ant-thrush Neocossyphus poensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Alethe diademata resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Forest Robin Stiphrornis erythrothorax resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lowland Akalat Sheppardia cyornithopsis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Forest Scrub-robin Erythropygia leucosticta resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Forest Flycatcher Fraseria ocreata resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-browed Forest Flycatcher Fraseria cinerascens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ussher's Flycatcher Muscicapa ussheri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olivaceous Flycatcher Muscicapa olivascens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scarlet-tufted Sunbird Anthreptes fraseri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mouse-brown Sunbird Anthreptes gabonicus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Little Green Sunbird Nectarinia seimundi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird Nectarinia cyanolaema resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Johanna's Sunbird Nectarinia johannae resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Vieillot's Black Weaver Ploceus nigerrimus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-mantled Weaver Ploceus tricolor resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Gray's Malimbe Malimbus nitens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Crested Malimbe Malimbus malimbicus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Malimbe Malimbus rubricollis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita bicolor resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Crimson Seedcracker Pyrenestes sanguineus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Western Bluebill Spermophaga haematina resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 medium not assessed low
unset
Unknown

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  No management planning has taken place  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Western Area No or Non - Hunting Forest Reserve 17,688 is identical to site 17,688  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Savanna Bushland & thicket - deciduous  20%
Grassland Grassland - edaphic, dry  5%
Forest Mid-altitude forest - transitional  70%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers & streams  5%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
hunting -
military -
nature conservation and research -
urban/industrial/transport -
water management -

References Allan (1990), Ausden and Wood (1990), Field (1974), Phillipson (1978), Thompson (1993a, 1997a), Thompson and Fotso (2000).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Western Area Peninsula Non-hunting Forest Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014

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