Cameroon mountains

Country/Territory Cameroon,Equatorial Guinea,Nigeria
Area 14,000 km2
Altitude 800 - 3000m
Priority critical
Habitat loss major
Knowledge incomplete

General characteristics

This EBA comprises the mountains which run south-west to north-east through western Cameroon and adjacent south-eastern Nigeria, and the mountains on the island of Bioko (or Fernando Po; politically part of Equatorial Guinea but lying c.30

Restricted-range species

The monotypic genera Poliolais and Urolais are endemic to this EBA, and the genus Speirops is only found here and on the islands in the Gulf of Guinea (EBAs 082, 083). The restricted-range species present are all found within Afromontane habitats, principally montane forest, although several of them also range into more open areas. Many of the species appear to have wide altitudinal ranges, but this is largely because montane forest is found at different altitudes in different parts of the EBA. A few species range down into lowland forest in parts of their ranges, and several occur at or near sea-level on the seaward slopes of Mt Cameroon and on Bioko's South Massif.

The distributions of the restricted-range species of this EBA are relatively well known (see Stuart 1986), although recent fieldwork has extended the known ranges of several species in the northern part of the EBA (Smith and McNiven 1993) and Nigeria (Ash et al. 1989). Several species are highly localized in range: Batis poensis and Speirops brunneus are endemic to Bioko, and Francolinus camerunensis and Speirops melanocephalus to Mt Cameroon; Telophorus kupeensis is only known from Mt Kupe, where it is found around the transition from lowland to montane forest; Tauraco bannermani and Platysteira laticincta are restricted to montane forests in the Bamenda-Banso highlands; and Apalis bamendae to riverine vegetation at lower altitudes on the Adamawa plateau and the Bamenda-Banso highlands. Kupeornis gilberti has an unusual distribution in the central part of the EBA, being absent from Mt Cameroon and only recorded from the extreme south of the Bamenda-Banso highlands.

Another taxon confined to this EBA, considered by Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993) to be a full species, is Cameroon Scrub-warbler Bradypterus lopezi, but it is here treated as a form of a more widespread species, Evergreen Forest-warbler B. lopezi, following Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993) and is therefore excluded from this analysis.

Species IUCN Category
Mount Cameroon Francolin (Pternistis camerunensis) EN
Cameroon Olive-pigeon (Columba sjostedti) LC
Bannerman's Turaco (Tauraco bannermani) EN
Bioko Batis (Batis poensis) LC
Banded Wattle-eye (Platysteira laticincta) EN
Monteiro's Bush-shrike (Malaconotus monteiri) NT
Green-breasted Bush-shrike (Malaconotus gladiator) VU
Mount Kupe Bush-shrike (Chlorophoneus kupeensis) EN
Yellow-breasted Boubou (Laniarius atroflavus) LC
Grey-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes oreas) VU
(Cisticola discolor) NR
Green Longtail (Urolais epichlorus) LC
Bamenda Apalis (Apalis bamendae) LC
White-tailed Warbler (Poliolais lopezi) NT
Bangwa Warbler (Bradypterus bangwaensis) NT
Mountain Saw-wing (Psalidoprocne fuliginosa) LC
Cameroon Mountain Greenbul (Arizelocichla montana) NT
Western Mountain Greenbul (Arizelocichla tephrolaema) LC
Grey-headed Greenbul (Phyllastrephus poliocephalus) NT
Cameroon Olive Greenbul (Phyllastrephus poensis) LC
Black-capped Woodland-warbler (Phylloscopus herberti) LC
Bioko Speirops (Zosterops brunneus) VU
Mount Cameroon Speirops (Zosterops melanocephalus) VU
White-throated Mountain-babbler (Kupeornis gilberti) VU
Crossley's Ground-thrush (Geokichla crossleyi) NT
Mountain Robin-chat (Oreocossypha isabellae) LC
Cameroon Sunbird (Cyanomitra oritis) LC
Ursula's Sunbird (Cinnyris ursulae) LC
Bannerman's Weaver (Ploceus bannermani) VU
Shelley's Oliveback (Nesocharis shelleyi) LC

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
CM009 Tchabal-Mbabo Cameroon
CM010 Ngaoundaba Ranch Cameroon
CM011 Njinsing - Tabenken Cameroon
CM012 Mount Oku Cameroon
CM013 Mbi Crater Faunal Reserve - Mbingo forest Cameroon
CM014 Mount Mbam Cameroon
CM015 Mbam Djerem National Park Cameroon
CM016 Bali-Ngemba Forest Reserve Cameroon
CM017 Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary Cameroon
CM020 Mont Bana Cameroon
CM021 Mont Manengouba Cameroon
CM022 Bakossi mountains Cameroon
CM023 Mont Nlonako Cameroon
CM024 Mount Rata and Rumpi Hills Forest Reserve Cameroon
CM025 Mount Kupe Cameroon
CM027 Mount Cameroon and Mokoko-Onge Cameroon
GQ002 Basilé Peak National Park Equatorial Guinea
GQ003 Luba Caldera Scientific Reserve Equatorial Guinea
NG001 Obudu Plateau Nigeria
NG002 Gashaka-Gumti National Park Nigeria
NG003 Ngel-Nyaki Forest Reserve Nigeria

Threat and conservation

Forest loss is the main threat to the EBA. This is caused by unsustainable exploitation for timber and firewood, overgrazing, fire damage and agricultural encroachment, and is particularly serious in the Bamenda-Banso highlands (where it is estimated that half of the forest cover was lost between 1965 and 1985), the Obudu plateau and the eastern side of Mt Cameroon (Collar and Stuart 1988). Twelve of the restricted-range species are considered threatened, mainly those with particularly small ranges, or those which occur at low population densities and appear to be restricted to undisturbed forest.

Protected areas which may support some of the restricted-range birds include Cross River and Gashaka/Gumti National Parks in Nigeria (see IUCN 1992b), and several of these species occur in Nta Ali Forest Reserve between the Bakossi range and the Bamenda-Banso highlands (P. Rodewald in litt. 1993). However, most of the important sites in the EBA are not officially protected, including the areas which have their own endemic species: the Bamenda-Banso highlands, Mt Kupe, Mt Cameroon and Bioko. Mt Oku is the largest area of forest remaining in the Bamenda-Banso highlands, and represents the only hope for survival for Tauraco bannermani and Platysteira laticincta (Collar and Stuart 1988). BirdLife International has been running the Kilum-Ijim Mountain Forest Project to conserve the montane forests there for several years (Macleod 1987, Macleod and Parrott 1992, Alpert 1993, Edwards 1993a), and initiated a similar project on Mt Kupe (Bowden and Bowden 1993, Bowden and Andrews 1994) which is now managed by WWF. Mt Cameroon is particularly important because its southern slopes, between Batoke and Isongo, are mainland West Africa's best remaining example of an altitudinal gradient from lowland rain forest to montane forest and grassland (Thomas 1986), and a joint ODA/Cameroon Government project to protect a large section of the mountain has recently been started (L.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2018) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Cameroon mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/10/2018.