The site is an alluvial plain with only slight undulations where meanders and marshes intersect the landscape. The altitude varies between 280-380 metres and the hydrology of the site based around the Likouala- aux-herbes and its affluents.
Quaternary sedimentary deposits of alluvial gleysols has developed a specific type of soils mainly derived from under flooded forest and floating grassland along the Likouala –aux-herbes and its tributaries.
An average of more than 3,000 large waterbird species, notably Phalacrocoracideae, Anhingideae, Ardeideae, Ciconiidae, Threskiornithidae and Anatidae has been recorded annually in the area during the 10 years survey conducted by J. Mokoko (Mokoko and al., 2007).
The bird survey has shown that the population of Anhinga rufa and Ardea purpurea is more than the 1 % biogeographic population level for these 2 species.
As regards Anhinga rufa, an average of 391 with a maximum of 1,302 was recorded,while a maximum of 1,539 with an average of 703 for Ardea purpurea was recorded
Non-bird biodiversity: The site is hosting a very rich fauna including large population of Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) living in the swamp forest. Other animal are Chimpanzees, nine species of monkey, six species of Duiker, Elephant (Loxodonta africana, Buffalo (Syncerus caffer), Hyppopotamus (Hyppopotamus amphibius) and Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Notwithstanding the low level of human pressure on the Lake Télé Community Reserve following the low density of population, the site is facing a number of threats such as taking of young birds, wide-ranging bushfires and poaching.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Fortunately, it is benefiting from the conservation activities carried out by the WildLife Conservation Society (WCS) in partnership with the Ministry of Forest Economy and Environment (MEFE). The goal of the joint programme is the conservation of biodiversity and the improvement of sustainable use of natural resources of LTCR.
The reserve was established by the decree n° 2001-220 of 10 May 2001. As one of the Ramsar Sites for the Congo it is under protection status. But, as local population is still depending on fish and bushmeat for 98% of its protein there is a need for sustainable management of these natural resources for the reserve to survive and the population to improve the livelihoods.
Habitat and land use
The vegetation is made up of two main types: Forest and Savanna
The Forest ecosystem encompasses a mixed primary forest and a secondary forest.
There is a mixed forest habitat on terra firma located in the centre of the reserve, with small finger in the very north of LTCR. The most abundant tree species in this forest are Entandrophragma spp. Terminalia superba, Pterocarpus soyauxii, Piptadeniastrum africanum, Pichnanthus mechowianus, Lophira alata, Staudtia gabonensis and Autranella congolensis. Other families often associated with this forest are Ulmaceae (Celtis sp.), Sterculiaceae (Sterculia bequaertii, Pterygota sp.) and Irvingiaceae (Klainedoxa gabonensis, Irvingia gabonensis, Irvingia grandiflora).
Secondary forest is found in the recovery stages after abandonment of subsistence cultivation. It includes Lophira alata, Musanga cecropioides and Parinari excelsa.
Riparian forest along the Likouala-aux- herbes includes two groups: One dominated by Uapaca hedelotii and Parinari excelsa and another dominated by Guibourtia demeusei ans Uapaca heudelotii.
The swamp forest is distributed in small patches including poor undergrowth. It encompasses a permanent flooded swamp forest with Mitragyna stipulosa, Symphonia globulifera, Uapaca paludosa, Uapaca heudelotii and is surrounded by a seasonally flooded swamp dominated by Lophira alata, Gambeya perpulchra, Uapaca heudelotii and Sterculia bequaertii.
Savanna vegetation is composed of grassland with or without trees and bushes. It is found along the banks of water courses of rivers where it forms a corridor of 5 -15 km wide in the middle of the swamp forest. The main species of the savanna are Setaria sp. Brachiaria brizantha, Hyparrhenia rufa and Hyparrhenia. Flooded grassland is characterized by Jardinea congoensis, Vossia cuspidata, Echinochloa saginata, Brachiaria brizantha and Digitaria polybotrya.
Around 14,600 villagers are occupying the area where they carry out poor managed activities related to fishing, hunting and small-scale agriculture.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Télé Community Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 06/04/2020.