This IBA covers the Bamingui–Bangoran National Park in the broad sense, i.e. the National Park (1,070,000 ha) together with the Vassako–Bolo Strict Nature Reserve (86,000 ha) and the adjacent Gribingui–Bamingui and Koukourou–Bamingui Faunal Reserves (450,000 ha and 110,000 ha respectively). Also included is the Sangba river area (conservation zone and hunting concession of 270,000 ha), following Fay et al. (1990). The complex is located in the centre-north of the country, west of the town of Ndélé, while a short length of the western border of the park is formed by the international frontier with Chad.The park lies mostly on a plateau of 400–500 m, the rivers of which drain north-westwards to the Chari. It is mainly Sudan–Guinea Savanna woodland, on relatively flat ground. The northern part is essentially drier Sudan vegetation, the southern a more humid Guinea savanna. Dominant trees include Terminalialaxiflora, Isoberlinia doka and Anogeissus leiocarpus. In places these savanna trees form quite extensive dry deciduous forest. Along watercourses there is a narrow riparian forest/thicket community of considerable interest containing, as it does, a number of southern Guineo-Congolian forest species. The Bamingui river is perennial, whereas others are seasonally reduced to no more than small pools. Seasonal marshes and ponds occur in some low-lying areas. Open or lightly-wooded grasslands may have Mitragyna inermis, Lophira lanceolata and Crossopteryx febrifuga trees. In the south and east there are also a few granite inselbergs.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The bird list of 374 species is based to some extent on two years’ residence by a single observer. Of these, at least 250 certainly or probably breed. Species of global conservation concern reported are Aythya nyroca and Circus macrourus. In addition, one species of the Sahel biome (A03), Ardeotis arabs, and one of the Afrotropical Highlands biome (A07), Ploceus baglafecht, have been reported.
Non-bird biodiversity: The area is important for a number of large mammal species including Panthera leo (VU) and, in particular, a number of Guineo-Congolian forest species which reach the northern limit of their distribution in the gallery forests, e.g. Tragelaphus eurycerus (LR/nt).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
In recent years there has been a great increase in the amount of poaching of game animals and invasion of the protected area by tens of thousands of cattle. As well as severe changes to the habitat, human residence has resulted in the poisoning of the irregular rivers with pesticides. The park and associated buffer zone has, since 1988, been managed as part of the European Union-funded project (PDRN), which one hopes can contain these excesses.