Atewa Range Forest Reserve

Country/territory: Ghana

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 25,500 ha

Ghana Wildlife Society
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2022 very high very unfavourable low
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (baseline)
Atewa Range Forest Reserve is located near Kibi town, to the west of the Accra–Kumasi road. This range of hills, aligned approximately north–south, are steep-sided with more or less flat summits. They represent the last remains of the Tertiary peneplain that once covered southern Ghana and are characterized by very ancient bauxitic soils. The reserve lies within the moist semi-deciduous forest zone. About 17,400 ha of the reserve is upland evergreen forest. Atewa is, together with Tano Offin (GH023), one of only two Forest Reserves in the country at which this forest-type occurs and these two reserves together hold c.95% of the upland evergreen forest in the country. The diverse flora contains submontane elements, with characteristic herbaceous species, and abundant and diverse epiphytic and terrestrial ferns; many plant species found here are not known to occur elsewhere in Ghana. The bovals (seasonal marshy grasslands on bauxite outcrops), swamps and thickets that occur here are also thought to be nationally unique.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The avifauna includes a significant number of nationally rare species such as Columba unicincta, Cercococcyx olivinus, Smithornis capensis, Indicator exilis, I. maculatus, Bleda syndactyla and Trochocercus nitens. The raptors Urotriorchis macrourus, Polyboroides typus, Accipiter tachiro and Stephanoetus coronatus still occur.

Non-bird biodiversity: Atewa forests contain many plant species not found elsewhere in the country; Celtis durandii was recorded in Ghana from this area. Six endemics butterfly species Mylothris atewa, Deudorix sp. nov., Cupidesthes sp. nov., Anthene aurea, A. helpsi and Acraea kibi, from a total of 460 also occur here—the largest number of species yet recorded from a single small forest anywhere in West Africa. Mammals include Cephalophus dorsalis (LR/nt) and Neotragus pygmaeus (LR/nt).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Atewa Range Forest Reserve. Downloaded from on 09/06/2023.