once extensive forest of western central Africa originally spread
from the Niger
Delta eastwards to Cameroon and south through Equatorial Guinea and
Gabon. Located at the
centre of the Guinea Congolian forest refugium Korup National Park
is reputed to be the best remaining example of this forest type and
richer than any other African forest for which data is available.
There is no evidence of any major historical influence by man
and in the southern Park sector at least the forest is likely to be
primary. Despite the
stress on the ecosystem, the forest has a biomass and production
equivalent to other African forests. The flora is dominated by over 400 tree species,
including large, ectomycorrhizal, caesalpinaceous legumes.
mammal fauna of Korup National Park consists of 33 families with 161
National Park contains one quarter of all Africa’s primate species
and represents a particularly important site for primate
contains a number of species that occur widely throughout the
Guineo-Congolian forest such as the forest elephant Loxodonta
africana cyclotis, forest buffalo Syncerus caffer nanus,
and bushpig Potamochoerus porcus pictus.
It also includes species of a much more restricted
distribution including a number of endemic species such as the giant
otter shrew Potamogale velox, Calabar angwantibo Arctocebus
calabarensis, drill Mandrillus leucophaeus, and
Preuss’s red colobus monkey Piliocolobus preussi.
For a number of species Korup appears to be at or near the
westernmost limit of distribution either through natural processes
or through the results of deforestation in Nigeria and areas further
west. Such species include giant otter shrew Potamogale velox,
Allen’s squirrel galago Galago alleni, elegant
needle-clawed galago Euoticus elegantulus, Preuss’s monkey Cercopithecus
preussi and the forest leopard Panthera pardus leopardus.
Species such as the bushpig Potamochoerus porcus pictus,
brush tailed porcupine Atherurus africanus, forest buffalo Syncerus
caffer nanus, bay duiker Cephalophus dorsalis, Ogilby’s duiker
Cephalophus ogilbyi, and blue duiker Cephalophus monticola are
widespread and fairly common at Korup.
on the southern Manaya River have reported the presence of the
hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius and claim that manatee
Trichechus senegalensis may be found in the deep stretches of the
Akwen gorge a little north of the Park boundary. Species curiously
absent include giant forest hog Hylochoerus meinertzhageni,
ratel Mellivora capensis, bongo Tragelaphus euryceros
and dwarf antelope Neotragus batesi.
or vulnerable large mammal species
of Korup’s large mammal species are considered to be either
endangered or vulnerable. Vulnerable
species include the chimpanzee Pan troglodytes, the forest
leopard Panthera pardus and the forest elephant Loxodonta
africana cyclotis. Endangered
species include the drill Mandrillus leucophaeus, red-capped
mangabey Cercocebus torquatus, red-eared monkey Cercopithecus
erythrotis and Preuss’s red colobus monkey Piliocolobus
Preuss’s monkey Cercopithecus preussi has not yet been
recorded from Korup National Park itself it has been recorded from
the Rumpi Hills Forest Reserve less than 5 kilometres east. Another
endangered mammal that may occur at Korup is the Cameroon clawless
otter Aonyx congica microdon, as yet unrecorded.
Korup contains as many
as 55 different species of bat and 47 different species of rodent.
mammals such as shrews, bats and mice (Soricidae, Pteropidae,
Nycteridae, Vespertillionidae and Muridae) are
particularly well represented. The presence of three species of shrew are recorded
for the first time in Cameroon (Crocidura crenata, C. cf.
grandiceps, C. lamottei). Korup also contains four prosimian
ornithological terms Korup National Park is reputedly the most
diverse lowland site in
Africa with a total of 4103 bird species recorded so far in 53
diverse groups are: flycatchers (Muscicapidae), old world
warblers (Sylviidae), bulbuls (Pycnotidae), sunbirds (Nectariniidae),
and weavers (Ploceidae).
According to ICBP/IUCN four species found in the area are
considered to be ‘rare’ including the Green-breasted Bush-Shrike
Malaconotus gladiator, the White-throated Mountain-Babbler Lioptilis
gilberti, the Red-headed Rockfowl Picathartes oreas, and the
Yellow-footed Honeyguide Melignomon eisentrauti, four are listed as
‘near-threatened’ and a miniumum of 40 are considered as
African Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus is heavily hunted for the
has the highest herpetofaunal diversity known for a single locality
in tropical Africa, comparable to that of the most diverse
neotropical sites. Korup
contains 82 reptiles and 92 amphibians, a number of them endemic to
the area. They include 3 caecilian species (limbless worm-like
amphibians), 89 species of frog and toad (among them 8 undescribed
species), 2 tortoises, 2 aquatic turtles, 15 lizards, 5 chameleons,
3 crocodiles and 55 snakes. Amphibians
listed as endangered or vulnerable include Bufo superciliaris
and Nectophryne afra. The
Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus was formerly common in
the rivers, creeks and estuaries between Ekondo Titi and Ndian but
has become much rarer in recent years due to human predation.
The Pygmy African Crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis, is
still fairly common in the region but is also heavily hunted.
Likewise two species of forest tortoise, Kinixys erosa
and K. homeana are heavily exploited and their status is of
Korup region is considered to be the most species-rich site for
butterflies in Africa. Although
only 480 have been recorded to date it has been estimated that Korup
contains at least 950 species, equivalent to more than a quarter of
the total number of known afro-tropical species.
Many species are effectively endemic to the area between
Cross River and River Sanaga including two very rare species, Euriphene
schultzei and Thermoniphans bibundana.