The site is located in the Hohoe District, south-east of the town of Hohoe. It is part of the Akwapim-Togo Range, which is aligned north-east to south-west between the Volta river and the international border with Togo. Afadjato (885 m) is the highest peak in Ghana. The site includes that part of the mountain range which falls within the four Traditional Areas of Gbledi, Fodome, Liati and Wli, as well as the Afadjato and Hekpome caves. The precise boundaries of the site are yet to be defined, but the area included in the proposed reserve is estimated to cover c.2,000 ha. Mount Afadjato and the adjoining Agumatsa Ranges lie within the Dry Semi-Deciduous Forest zone, but include well-developed Guinea Savanna. The western slopes of the hills support semi-deciduous forest, parts of which are disturbed, but the steeper eastern sides are dominated by wooded savanna. Derived savanna grassland occurs in low-lying areas between settlements and on the lower slopes of the hills, but the presence of scattered, remnant forest trees, e.g. Cola gigantea, Albizia adianthifolia, Morus mesozygia and Antiaris toxicaria, suggest that the area once also supported semi-deciduous forest. Along the upper slopes of Afadjato, closed-canopy forest persists until within 20 m of the peak. Forest vegetation then quickly gives way to savanna at the summit. The site lies very close to Misahöhe Forest Reserve in Togo (IBA TG004).
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The information available, to date, is based on a four-day survey which covered only the part of the forest on Afadjato mountain. A total of 88 species were recorded, including 10 which are classified as rare or uncommon in Ghana amongst which were Columba unicincta, Indicator exilis and Cercococcyx olivinus. Five species of birds of prey were also seen, including Circaetus cinereus, of which there are few records for Ghana.
Non-bird biodiversity: The mountain ranges in the Volta Region, including Agumatsa and Mt. Afadjato, have a rich butterfly fauna with a significant degree of endemism. Endemic butterfly species recorded include Papilio maesseni, Bicyclus maesseni, Telipna maesseni, Paracleros maesseni, Fresna maesseni, Junonia hadrope and Caenides stoehri. Mammalian species include Cephalophus dorsalis (LR/nt) and Colobus polykomos (LR/nt).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The area is currently not protected and has only recently been proposed as a Community Nature Reserve, under a project funded by the Netherlands Development Administration and implemented by the Ghana Wildlife Society and the people of the Gbledi Traditional Area. The forests on the mid-slopes of the mountain have a GHI of 116. The distinctive vegetation and its high susceptibility to fire place the area on the national priority list of forest sites in need of protection. Until recently, the forest was used by the local communities for hunting and the collection of forest products including Thaumatococcus daniellii, a species of Marantaceae exported for the extraction of the sweetener thaumatin, the leaves of which are used locally as food wrappers.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Afadjato - Agumatsa Range forest. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 06/07/2020.