The Parque Natural das Lagoas de Cufada is located in central southern Guinea-Bissau, immediately north and west of the town of Buba. The area is bordered to the north by the lower reaches of the Rio Corubal, to the south by the upper reaches of the Rio Grande de Buba and, to the west, by one of its tributaries, the Rio de Fulacunda. The proposed National Park includes the Lagoa de Cufada, two other freshwater lagoons and surrounding forest and savanna areas. Included are 37,700 ha of forest, within which are two sacred groves of primary forest, and 26,000 ha of savanna. The Lagoa de Cufada itself covers 413.5 ha and is a shallow (less than 1.5 m in the dry season), permanent, eutrophic freshwater lake in the flood-plain of the Rio Corubal. The site also includes two smaller freshwater lakes, Lagoa de Bionra (32.5 ha, permanent) and Lagoa de Bedasse (18.7 ha, seasonal), the seasonally flooded marshes between these lakes and the Rio Corubal and about a 14 km stretch of the south side of the river, which is fringed by a 10–30 m wide strip of mangrove and extensive mudflats. The aquatic vegetation of the lakes includes an abundance of Nymphaea sp. which covers most of the shallower areas. Average annual rainfall in the east of the area is 1,850–2,150 mm and in the west is 2,150–2,500 mm.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. Waterbird counts have recorded 44 species and included, in 1995, 1,195 Nettapus auritus.
Non-bird biodiversity: The following mammals have been recorded: Pan troglodytes (EN), Colobus polykomus (LR/nt) Procolobus badius (LR/nt), Kobus kob (LR/cd), Cephalophus dorsalis (LR/nt) and Trichechus senegalensis (VU). The crocodile Osteolaemus tetrapsis (VU) also occurs.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The area was declared a Natural Park in 1997 while the Lagoa de Cufada itself and the surrounding area, covering 39,098 ha, was designated a Ramsar Site in 1991. Some 4,100 people in 34 settlements live within the reserve. Subsistence agriculture, particularly rice-growing, is a threat to the forest as some areas have been cleared and burnt for cultivation. Cash-cropping also takes place on a small-scale and parts have been cleared for banana and cashew nut production as well as timber. Hunting and fishing are common activities and there is some evidence of overfishing.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lagoas de Cufada. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 12/12/2019.