Working for birds in Africa

Important Bird Areas

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 13:30 -- abc_admin

The avifauna of Guinea is poorly known and large areas of the country have yet to be surveyed. Over 600 species have been recorded of which almost a hundred are Palearctic migrants and 17 are species of global conservation concern. Parts of the Upper Guinea Forests Endemic Bird Area (EBA) extend into south-east Guinea and 12 of the restricted range species of this EBA have been recorded. The south-east and parts of the south-west are occupied by the Guinea-Congo Forests biome of which 148 species have been recorded. The Sudan-Guinea Savanna biome covers the northern two thirds of the country with 33 species of this biome recorded. The coasts are estimated to hold, at times, over half a million waterbirds, principally migrant waders.

A total of 18 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have been identified by BirdLife International covering over 7,000 km2 or 2.9% of the area of the country.

The following five sites are coastal wetlands which reflects the importance of this habitat in Guinea for both breeding and migrant waterbirds: Iles Tristao west of the town of Boké has counts of over 5,000 Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor and breeding African Spoonbill Platalea alba and Caspian Tern Sterna caspia; Rio Kapatchez south of the town of Kamsar has Hamerkop Scopus umbretta and Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus nesting in the mangroves; Rio Pongo near the town of Boffa has breeding Goliath Heron Ardea goliath and Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis; Konkouré to the north of the Conakry peninsula has breeding Great White Egret Egretta alba and non-breeding Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta and Common Redshank Tringa totanus; and Ile Blanche some 10 km offshore from Conakry is a tern and waterbird roost.

Ile Alcatraz and Ile du Naufrage lie 40 km south-west of Iles Tristao and hold a breeding colony of Brown Booby Sula leucogaster and act as a roost for thousands of terns.

The following three forest IBAs are in the south-east of the country: Massif du Ziama situated 40 km south-east of the town of Macenta is contiguous with the Wonegizi mountains IBA in Liberia and has 287 species recorded including Rufous Fishing-owl Scotopelia ussheri and Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata; Monts Nimba is one of the very few sites in the country for Sierra Leone Prinia Prinia leontica; and Diécké Forest Reserve has Green-tailed Bristlebill Bleda eximius, Yellow-bearded Greenbul Criniger olivaceus, White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus and Gola Malimbe Malimbus ballmanni.

The following five forest IBAs are in the south-west of the country: Balandougou is north-east of the town of Kindia and holds Emerald Starling Lamprotornis iris; Gangan, north-west of Kindia is now very degraded, with a long-established village and numerous cultivations; Grandes Chutes is north of the town of Mambiya beside the Conakry to Kindia road and holds at least one pair of White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus; Kabitai is located south-east of the town of Wassou and Kounounkan which is 90 km south-east of Conakry has Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata and White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus.

These eight forest sites between them contain all confirmed resident species of global conservation concern and species of restricted range.

The following three IBAs are situated in the north-east of the country and contain representative species of the Sudan-Guinea Savanna biome: Badiar is north of the town of Koundara on the frontier with Senegal and contiguous with the Niokolo-Koba National Park in that country with Violet Turaco Musophaga violacea; Nialama is south-west of the town of Linsan with Fox Kestrel Falco alopex and Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki; and Chutes de la Sala due west of the town of Labé with similar species plus Bearded Barbet Lybius dubius, Pied-winged Swallow Hirundo leucosoma and Yellow-billed Shrike Corvinella corvina.

Finally, Mafou is located in the eastern lowlands immediately west of the town of Kouroussa and includes the core area of the Haut Niger National Park. The park contains a diverse avifauna with over 300 species recorded including 11 species of the Guinea-Congo Forests biome and 28 of the 33 species of the Sudan-Guinea Savanna biome recorded in Guinea. Species are similar to those mentioned for the previous 3 IBAs in the north-east of the country and include in addition Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla, Gambaga Flycatcher Muscicapa gambagae, Splendid Sunbird Cinnyris coccinigaster and Grey-headed Oliveback Nesocharis capistrata.

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

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