Mount Mbam, also known as the Mbam Hill Forest, is a massif situated between the towns of Foumban and Jakiri and includes about 2,000 ha of montane forest, mainly on the plateau at about 2,000 m. The massif is an abrupt, isolated mountain with montane savanna grassland mixed with large patches of gallery forest on the plateau and the slopes, where they line the numerous streams, some of which are seasonal and some permanent. Many large forest patches extend down to about 1,400 m. The numerous galleries on the plateau range between 5 m and 100 m in width and 500–1,000 m or more in length. The forest is dominated by Albizia gummifera, Polyscias fulva and Schefflera mannii while other common species include Syzygium guineense, Carapa procera, Ficus spp., Nuxia congesta, Olea capensis, Croton macrostachyus and Eugenia gilgii. Emergent shrubs in the Sporobolus africanus grassland include Hypericum revolutum, H. riparium and Agauria salicifolia.The hills are dotted with small settlements of mainly Fulani cattle grazers. Population densities at lower altitudes are higher, with at least 10 villages at the foot of the hills.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. A total of 137 species have so far been recorded. The mountain holds important numbers of Tauraco bannermani, probably the second-largest population after Mount Oku (CM012). Apalis bamendae is not uncommon and occurs at 2,050 m in company with Apalis cinerea, A. pulchra and A. jacksoni. Four species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome (A04) and 10 of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome (A05) also occur (Table 3).
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Although human settlements in the uplands are so few that their impact on forest ecology is minimal, hunters from the lower villages burn down large patches of the forests annually. Numerous debarked Prunus africana trees were seen, many with regenerating stems. A small NGO is working in the area and is interested in the protection of the forests.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Mbam. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 06/07/2020.