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Location Sierra Leone, Eastern Province
Central coordinates 10o 55.00' West  7o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 76,100 ha
Altitude 20 - 475m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Conservation Society of Sierra Leone



Site description Gola Forest Reserve is the largest area of Upper Guinea rainforest in Sierra Leone. It occupies the south-eastern edge of the country and is divided into four sections: Gola North (45,800 ha), Gola East (22,800 ha) and Gola West (6,200 ha) are Forest Reserves, while Tiwai Island (1,300 ha) is a Game Sanctuary. Tiwai Island is situated in the Moa river, 10 km north-west of Gola West. Gola West and East are contiguous, separated only by the Mahoi river and a road, while Gola North lies about 5 km north-east of Gola East. Gola North is fairly hilly, with most land lying above 300 m and the highest point at 475 m. The main river draining Gola North is the Mogbai, and its catchment spans the centre of the reserve. This river discharges into the Mano river, which runs along the border with the Republic of Liberia. Gola East, Gola West and Tiwai are low-lying with swampy areas and a few hills. Bagra hill (150 m) is the highest point in Gola East. Dominant canopy tree species include Heritiera utilis and Cryptosepalum tetraphyllum with Erythrophleum ivorescens, Lophira alata, Brachystegia leonensis and Didelotia idae occurring in the lower strata. Canopy height is mainly between 30–35 m, with emergents reaching 50–55 m.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-breasted Guineafowl Agelastes meleagrides resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Forest Francolin Peliperdix lathami resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ahanta Francolin Pternistis ahantensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hartlaub's Duck Pteronetta hartlaubii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-crested Tiger-heron Tigriornis leucolopha resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Congo Serpent-eagle Dryotriorchis spectabilis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Long-tailed Hawk Urotriorchis macrourus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cassin's Hawk-eagle Aquila africana resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura pulchra 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 
Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx olivinus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-throated Cuckoo Chrysococcyx flavigularis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Coucal Centropus leucogaster resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bubo poensis resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Shelley's Eagle-owl Bubo shelleyi resident  2000  present  A3  Near Threatened 
Akun Eagle-owl Bubo leucostictus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Fishing-owl Scotopelia ussheri resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Red-chested Owlet Glaucidium tephronotum resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black Spinetail Telacanthura melanopygia resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sabine's Spinetail Rhaphidura sabini resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cassin's Spinetail Neafrapus cassini 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 
African Dwarf-kingfisher Ispidina lecontei 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 
Merops muelleri resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Bycanistes fistulator resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Tropicranus albocristatus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Tockus fasciatus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Tockus hartlaubi resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Dwarf Hornbill Lophoceros camurus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes cylindricus resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Black-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna atrata resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata resident  2000  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Cassin's Honeybird Prodotiscus insignis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-footed Honeyguide Melignomon eisentrauti resident  2000  present  A1, A3  Data Deficient 
Spotted Honeyguide Indicator maculatus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Willcocks's Honeyguide Indicator willcocksi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lyre-tailed Honeyguide Melichneutes robustus 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 
Rufous-sided Broadbill Smithornis rufolateralis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Shrike-flycatcher Megabyas flammulatus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
West African Batis Batis occulta resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-cheeked Wattle-eye Platysteira blissetti resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fiery-breasted Bush-shrike Malaconotus cruentus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lagden's Bush-shrike Malaconotus lagdeni resident  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Large-billed Puffback Dryoscopus sabini resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue Cuckooshrike Coracina azurea resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Western Wattled Cuckooshrike Campephaga lobata resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Western Black-headed Oriole Oriolus brachyrhynchus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-winged Oriole Oriolus nigripennis 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 
Dusky Crested-flycatcher Elminia nigromitrata resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-capped Flycatcher Erythrocercus mccallii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Dusky Tit Parus funereus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tit-hylia Pholidornis rushiae resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Square-tailed Saw-wing Psalidoprocne nitens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Blue Swallow Hirundo nigrita resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chattering Cisticola Cisticola anonymus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sharpe's Apalis Apalis sharpii resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-browed Camaroptera Camaroptera superciliaris resident  2000  present  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 
Spotted Greenbul Ixonotus guttatus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Simple Greenbul Chlorocichla simplex resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Swamp Greenbul Thescelocichla leucopleura resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Greenbul Phyllastrephus albigularis 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 
Red-tailed Bulbul Criniger calurus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-bearded Greenbul Criniger olivaceus resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
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 
Green Crombec Sylvietta virens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lemon-bellied Crombec Sylvietta denti resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blackcap Illadopsis Illadopsis cleaveri 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 
Copper-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis cupreocauda resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Chestnut-winged Starling Onychognathus fulgidus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Narrow-tailed Starling Poeoptera lugubris resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Ant-thrush Neocossyphus poensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Flycatcher-thrush Stizorhina fraseri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Ground-thrush Zoothera princei 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 
African Forest Flycatcher Fraseria ocreata resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-browed Forest Flycatcher Fraseria cinerascens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Nimba Flycatcher Melaenornis annamarulae resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Ussher's Flycatcher Muscicapa ussheri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olivaceous Flycatcher Muscicapa olivascens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Little Grey Flycatcher Muscicapa epulata resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tessmann's Flycatcher Muscicapa tessmanni resident  2000  present  A3  Data Deficient 
Cassin's Grey Flycatcher Muscicapa cassini resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-throated Tit-flycatcher Myioparus griseigularis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scarlet-tufted Sunbird Anthreptes fraseri 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 
Buff-throated Sunbird Nectarinia adelberti resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tiny Sunbird Nectarinia minulla resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Johanna's Sunbird Nectarinia johannae resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Superb Sunbird Nectarinia superba 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 
Maxwell's Black Weaver Ploceus albinucha resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Preuss's Weaver Ploceus preussi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Gola Malimbe Malimbus ballmanni resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Red-vented Malimbe Malimbus scutatus 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 
Red-fronted Antpecker Parmoptila rubrifrons resident  2000  present  A3  Near Threatened 
White-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita fusconotus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita bicolor resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pale-fronted Negrofinch Nigrita luteifrons 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 
Gymnobucco calvus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Bristle-nosed Barbet Gymnobucco peli resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
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 
Hairy-breasted Barbet Tricholaema hirsuta resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Gola Forest Forest Reserve 0 protected area contains site 74,800  
Tiwai Island Game Sanctuary 1,200 protected area contained by site 1,200  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Lowland forest - mixed moist evgn & semi-evgn  100%

Land use

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

Other biodiversity Gola Forest supports significant populations of the following primates: Pan troglodytes verus (EN), Procolobus badius (VU), Colobus polykomus (LR/nt), Cercocebus atys (LR/nt) and Cercopithecus diana (VU). It is also a refuge for other large mammals, including Loxodonta africana cyclotes (EN), Cephalophus zebra (VU), C. jentinki (VU), C. maxwelli (LR/nt), C. niger (LR/nt), Hexoprotodon liberiensis (VU) and Hyemoschus aquaticus (LR/nt).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gola Forest Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/07/2014

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