The site is located in the north-west Fouta Djalon, south-west of the town of Linsan, north-west of Lélouma and comprises principally the Nialama (Nyalama) Forest Reserve (10,000 ha), but also includes neighbouring parts of the valleys of the Ouésséguélé river and its affluent, the Koundou (Kuundu). The area includes bowé, cliffs and escarpments, hills, a low-lying plain of gently undulating terrain and lowland seasonal swamps. The site is a mosaic of sparse forest, denser gallery forest, open savanna woodland and grassland and patches of bamboo Oxytenanthera abyssinica. The dominant forest species are Parkia biglobosa and Pterocarpus erinaceus, while Afzelia africana and Elaeis guineensis are characteristic savanna species. Average annual rainfall is 1,145 mm. The precise limits of the site have yet to be determined.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The area has yet to be thoroughly surveyed.
Non-bird biodiversity: A troop of at least 30 Pan troglodytes (EN) occurs within the forest reserve. The site is within the Fouta Djalon centre of plant endemism; some of the endemics may therefore occur.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
An enclave of 150 ha has been established in the centre of the Forest Reserve which contains two permanent villages. Bush fires, set to clear land for farming, are an annual feature, since at least the time of the gazettement of the reserve in 1943. Some swamp areas are cultivated for rice production and much of the western part of the forest reserve is under cultivation. The area is also subject to hunting, fishing and the grazing of livestock as well as the collection of various natural products for medicines, food, dyes and building materials. At the end of the 1980s, much timber, particularly Khaya senegalensis and Borassus aethopium, was extracted from the reserve.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nialama. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/01/2020.