Working for birds in Africa

Important Bird Areas

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 15:28 -- abc_admin

The avifauna of Equatorial Guinea is amongst the least known in Africa. 3 Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) cover Equatorial Guinea including the whole of Rio Muni which falls within the Cameroon and Gabon lowlands EBA. Annobón forms an EBA in its own right and Bioko is a part of the Cameroon mountains EBA.

5 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have been identified with a total area of 3,770 km2 which includes marine areas and offshore islands around Annobón. Apart from these areas around Annobón, all the IBAs are forested. These sites hold all the species of global conservation concern as well as the 176 restricted range species of the Guinea-Congo Forests biome.

The Annobón IBA includes the whole island, islets and surrounding seas up to 5 km offshore. Forest covers about 75% of the island. Key species are São Tomé Bronze-naped Pigeon Columba malherbii and Annobón White-eye Zosterops griseovirescens. Other breeding seabirds include Brown Booby Sula leucogaster, White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus, Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus and Brown Noddy Anous stolidus.

Basilé Peak National Park is located in the northern half of Bioko. The terrain is extremely rugged and the vegetation comprises montane forest with bushland and thickets at higher altitudes. A total of 70 species, all thought to be resident, have been recorded. These include the endemic Fernando Po Speirops Speirops brunneus and some 28 endemic subspecies. Other key species are Mountain Saw-wing Psalidoprocne fuliginosa and Ursula’s Sunbird Cinnyris ursulae.

Luba Caldera Scientific Reserve is centred on the volcanic Mount Luba in southern Bioko and is one of the wettest places on earth with annual rainfall reaching 10 metres. It is an area of undisturbed lowland forest which merges into montane forest above 800 m. 120 species have been recorded to date including Bioko Batis Batis poensis, Mountain Saw-wing Psalidoprocne fuliginosa, Ursula’s Sunbird Cinnyris ursulae and Grey-necked Picathartes Picathartes oreas and is the only site in Bioko where Black-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna atrata and Hadeda Ibis Bostrychia hagedash occur.

Monte Alen National Park is covered entirely with primary rainforest and at least 256 species have been recorded. Of special note is the recent discovery of 3 montane species Grey Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina caesia, Pink-footed Puffback Dryoscopus angolensis and Black-capped Woodland-Warbler Phylloscopus herberti. Other key species are Uganda Wood Warbler Phylloscopus budongoensis, Grey-necked Picathartes Picathartes oreas which is widespread, Zenker’s Honeyguide Melignomon zenkeri, Tessmann’s Flycatcher Muscicapa tessmanni and Verreaux’s Batis Batis minima.

Nsork Highlands National Park is situated in the south-east corner of Rio Muni and represents one of the best preserved areas of primary rainforest. Little survey work has been done at this site but it is a nesting area for Grey-necked Picathartes Picathartes oreas.

For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.

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