Gola rainforest in Sierra Leone: birds and mammals

This is a white-necked picathartes video.

From BirdLife:

More than 270 bird species, including 14 globally threatened are found at Gola.

They include Rufous Fishing-owl Scotopelia ussheri, Gola Malimbe Malimbus ballmanni (both Endangered), and the Green-tailed Bristlebill Bleda eximius and White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus (both Vulnerable), the latter a charismatic species recognised as a symbol of African conservation.

Gola is also important for threatened mammals including pygmy hippopotamus, forest elephant and zebra duiker.

Update on Gola, June 2013: here.

Are we finally almost there? The Gola Forest National Park gazettement in Liberia: an update: here.

The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL) through the support of the Wildlife Clubs of Africa project has established 7 new Nature Clubs and rejuvenated 10 old Clubs in the Western and Eastern Provinces of the country respectively. This laudable initiative is in line with CSSL’s long term goal of expanding conservation and environmental education activities to cover many more pupils and students through school Nature Club establishment: here.

The Western Area National Park is a forest reserve in Sierra Leone that still holds one of the last strongholds of pristine forest in the country and represents a significant portion of the remaining forest cover in the Guinean Forests of West Africa Hotspot. The park is rich in diverse species, with a range of hills and steep mountains that border the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean: here.


14 thoughts on “Gola rainforest in Sierra Leone: birds and mammals

  1. Concord Times (Freetown)

    Sierra Leone: Leopard Found in Gola Forest

    Milene Datil And Mohammed Massaquoi

    24 March 2009

    Freetown — Officers of the Gola Forest Programme, operating in the southeast of the country, have confirmed the discovery of a leopard, pygmy hippo, zebra duiker, and bongo among others, animals they have not noticed in the reserve for a very long time.

    Gola forest protected area manager John Moriba made the revelation on Friday whiles explaining to journalists the necessity of protecting the forest reserve.

    He said the forest has a high biodiversity of birds, mammals and plants, adding that the discovery of leopard, pygmy hippo and other animals was an achievement by his organization as it would serve as an essential tourist attraction centre.

    Moriba noted that a group of researchers through the camera trapping system have recorded a lot of animals and of different species, most of them were about to face extinction in the country.

    “The Gola Forest is even more valuable than diamonds; the forests serve as biodiversity source and also provide ecological services such as water and crop production.

    It is disheartening to note that there are serious threats to the forest which range from logging, hunting and diamond mining.

    We are appealing to government to address these problems as we are contemplating that by 2012 through the support from government and other partners, the reserve would attain the status of a national park.

    “President Koroma on several occasions has laid emphases on the importance of the forest reserve but we are concern about the recent proposed mining that is to be undertaking by a Chinese mining company. We are gravely concern and therefore urge the president to make public statement in order to reaffirm the operations of Gola in that part of the country”

    He said adding that they have enormous support from the French government, European Union and conservation international a US based organization.

    He called on all Sierra Leoneans to support the project as the Gola Forest is the green diamond of Sierra Leone which everybody should be proud of.


  2. Sierra Leone re-affirms intention to declare Gola forest a National Park – BirdLife recently received a letter from H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone confirming his intention to declare the Gola forest a National Park. “I would like to re-assure you of my government’s commitment to implementing the Sierra Leone Biodiversity Action Programme in collaboration with your organisation, not only to mitigate the effects of global warming, but also to preserve our rich fauna and flora, and cultural heritage for generations to come”, wrote H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone. “I am hopeful that the Gola Forest National Park Bill will be introduced in Parliament in the coming weeks”. The Gola Forest National Park will form part of a new Trans-boundary Peace Park recently announced jointly by the Presidents of Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Trans-boundary Peace Park will protect one of the largest remaining blocks of intact forest in the Upper Guinea Area of West Africa.



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