Gbele Resource Reserve

Year of compilation: 2008

Site description
Gbele Resource Reserve is situated in the north-west of the country (the nearest town is Tumu to the north-east). The topography is rather flat; it is traversed by a seasonal, sandy river (the Kulpawn) flowing from the west to the south-east. The vegetation consists mainly of various types of broad-leaved Sudanian woodland. In the vicinity of Gbele village, in the north-centre, there are some thicket clumps with Adansonia digitata, Acacia albida and Ficus sycomorus. The Kulpawn river is flanked by an interrupted line of low thickets or patches of dry forest; these are more extensive in the north, on the edge of permanent large pools. Between Gbele village and the reserve entrance in the north, the soil is shallow, or even rocky, and the woodland there is rather short and open, especially around flat rock slabs

Key biodiversity
A total of 176 species have been recorded; another 18 are known to wildlife staff, giving a total of 194 species. Species of special interest include Indicator willcocksi, found in riparian thickets (a considerable extension of range to the north), the rare Muscicapa gambagae and localized Ploceus melanocephalus. Breeding evidence for Merops nubicus and the high density of Burhinus capensis are also worth noting. Gbele is one of only three wildlife reserves where the rare Buphagus africanus is recorded. Gbele is the only wildlife reserve so far where the lark Pinarocorys erythropygia is known to occur and apparently breeds. Key species: A1: Cisticola guinea (ex-C. dorsti) was "Data Deficient". It is in fact quite widespread in West Africa and not considered endangered (see also Dowsett-Lemaire et al. in press). A3 (Sudanian biome): at least 30 of the 37 species of this biome that occur in Ghana have been recorded. In addition, there is one species of the Guineo-Congolian biome (Indicator willcocksi).

Non-bird biodiversity: Various small game animals still occur; of larger species there is a small population of Hippotragus equinus (LR/cd).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The reserve includes one village (Gbele), but there are no serious problems concerning birds or their habitats. Near the southern boundary (Wahabu camp) some breeding colonies of bee-eaters Merops spp. may occasionally be disturbed by poachers or children.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gbele Resource Reserve. Downloaded from on 03/12/2022.