The site is located in central Gabon, to the west of the town of Booué, south of the Ogooué river which forms the northern border of the reserve. Vegetation in the northern part of the reserve consist of savanna grasslands with small bushes, mainly Crossopteryx febrifuga and Nauclea latifolia. Riparian forest fringes the Ogooué and follows its tributaries southwards into the main forest block where there is a mosaic of gallery forest, marantaceous forest, which is colonizing the savanna, and mature forest. Typical trees of the mature forest include Aucoumea klaineana, Cola lizae, Pentaclethra eetveldeana, Dacryodes buettneri, Lophira alata, Diospyros polystemon, Hylodendron gabunense, Ganophyllum gigantum, Pycnanthus angolensis, Xylopia quntasii, Ceiba pentandra, Santiria trimera, Pentaclethra macrophylla, Coula edulis, Scyphocephalium ochocoa, Conceveiba macrostachys, Sacoglottis gabonensis, Sindoropsis letestui, Pterocarpus soyauxii, Tetraberlinia bifolialata and Paraberlinia bifoliolata. Marantaceous forest is characterized by a rich understorey of Marantaceae and Zingiberaceae beneath a canopy of such tall trees as Cola lizae. Forest-clad hills reach between 800 and 960 m and represent the northern extension of the du Chaillu Massif. There are no wetlands or open marshes, except for a small artificial pond.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The avifauna is rich; 380 species are known, of which 290 are breeding residents, including two species of global conservation concern, both of which are limited by their particular habitat requirements to restricted areas within the reserve. In addition, there are a few records of Gallinago media. Little-known forest species such as Apus batesi, Caprimulgus batesi and Melichneutes robustus are common. The avifauna of the savannas is impoverished compared with the savannas of other regions of country, presumably because of their isolation. A pair of Falco peregrinus, rare in the region, has bred on a cliff in the reserve for at least the last 20 years.
Non-bird biodiversity: Lopé is well known for its populations of large forest mammals, including Loxodonta africana (EN), Gorilla gorilla (EN), Pan troglodytes (EN) and Colobus satanas (VU). Cercopithecus solatus (VU), endemic to Gabon, occurs in the southern part of the reserve and in the adjacent Forêt des Abeilles, to the east.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Lopé is managed by the Direction de la Faune et de la Chasse. A project to improve conservation management in the reserve and develop ecotourism has been run by Ecofac, in collaboration with government, since 1992. The northern part of the reserve has been selectively logged during the last twenty years. Some logging concessions are now abandoned, but two large ones—one in the east, one in the south—are still being exploited or will be in the near future.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lopé Faunal Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 09/02/2023.