Mont Péko National Park is located to the north of the town of Duékoué, south-east of Man, and is one of the easternmost outliers of the highland range that extends from western Côte d’Ivoire into Guinea and northern Liberia. The terrain is therefore rugged, with numerous granitic inselbergs in the north of the site, the highest of which rises to 1,000 m, while in the south it drops away to lowland where semi-deciduous forest occurs extending to the fringes of the Sôn river. The Sôn forms the southern boundary of the site before it reaches the Sassandra river a little way downstream. Forest covers 80% of the park and commonly includes such tree species as Triplochitom scleroxylon, Celtis spp., Pterygota macrocarpa and Mansonia altissima. Swamp-forest occurs in places in which Mitragyna ciliata and Raphia spp. are common. Forest grows up to the edges of the inselbergs, climbing them where soil depth permits. A relatively low, dense, dry forest grows on the summits and on some slopes in which Hildegardia barteri and Holarrhena floribunda are common. Elsewhere, an open, specialized herbaceous layer covers parts of the otherwise bare rock surfaces. Average annual rainfall is c.1,350 mm.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Some 240 species have been recorded. Recent surveys have revealed that Péko holds a large number of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome species as well poorly known species of conservation concern including Scotopelia ussheri, Melaenornis annamarulae and Phyllastrephus baumanni.
Non-bird biodiversity: A population of Pan troglodytes verus (EN) occurs. Some Loxodonta africana cyclotis (EN) persist. Cephalophus maxwellii (LR/nt) and Neotragus pygmaeus (LR/nt) remain reasonably common, but other species such as Syncerus caffer (LR/cd), Tragelaphus euryceros (LR/nt), Cephalophus niger (LR/nt), C. sylvicultor (LR/nt), C. dorsalis (LR/nt) are now rarely seen. Hexaprotodon liberiensis (VU) may still occur in low numbers.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Mont Péko was created a National Park in 1968, but people who were displaced at that time were not properly compensated and some errors were made when demarcating the boundaries on the ground. The marked boundaries and those defined by the 1968 decree do not coincide, but the total areas under the two systems are similar (around 28,000 ha). Poaching is widespread and the forests of Péko are now isolated as a result of clearance of land for agriculture in the surrounding area. Attempts are currently being made to address these issues; a park management project, as part of the nationwide multi-donor effort to improve protected area management, is being executed in Péko by government authorities, with technical assistance provided by BirdLife International and funding from the European Union. The official area of the park is 34,000 ha, but a re-evaluation using remote-sensing and GIS reveals the true areas (according to the boundaries in the original decree) to be 28,581 ha.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Peko Mountain National Park. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 07/03/2021.