Nsork Highlands National Park

Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
The Nsork (or Nsoc) Highlands are situated in the south-eastern corner of Río Muni and support one of the largest and best-preserved remaining areas of primary rainforest. The park is approximately triangular in shape and is bounded to the west by the Abang river, and to the south by the track linking the towns of Alum and Nsork. The north-eastern border is defined by the watershed between the Ouro river system to the north and the Abang and the Ncama rivers (the last flows through the eastern half of the park), affluents of the Ogooué river system to the south in Gabon. The park sits on a granitic plateau at about 500 m, from which a number of tall inselbergs protrude. The human population within the park is small, but probably exceeds 5,000 in the surrounding villages.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Nests of Picathartes oreas have been found and much habitat suitable for this species occurs. The site has, as yet, been extremely incompletely surveyed and it is expected that further work will reveal many more species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome as well as, possibly, other restricted-range species of the Cameroon and Gabon lowlands EBA.

Non-bird biodiversity: The flora is, as yet, practically unsurveyed. Threatened mammals include four primate species of global conservation concern; Colobus satanas (VU), Mandrillus sphinx (LR/nt), Gorilla gorilla (EN) and Pan troglodytes (EN). The elephant Loxodonta africana (EN) also occurs.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Although identified as a protected area since 1988, Nsoc was only given legal status, as a National Park, in 2000. No official protection measures have been implemented. There is no information on hunting pressure, but it is likely to be intense. There is a potentially high risk of forest clearance for shifting cultivation around the periphery of the site. Two timber companies own logging concessions and since 1995 there has been timber extraction, but the distance from and difficulties of access to ports has so far prevented large-scale forestry in the area.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nsork Highlands National Park. Downloaded from on 30/05/2020.