The site is situated in the south-east of the country, close to the border with Cameroon, to the north-east of Cross River National Park—Okwangwo Division (NG010). The area is wet and mountainous with a plateau at about 1,500 m and peaks which rise to 1,700 m, and is a western extension of the Cameroon mountain range. It comprises a large area of montane grassland criss-crossed by numerous perennial mountain streams flowing through valleys. These valleys support patches of relict montane forest. Typical plants include Andropogon distachyos in the grasslands and various Ficus spp., Polyscias fulva and the tree-fern Cyathea manniana in the forests. Forest trees are often festooned with epiphytes. A state-owned cattle ranch covers part of the area, while the remainder of the land is owned by local communities. Access is via an asphalted road from the nearby town of Obudu. The wet season lasts from March to November and average annual rainfall is about 4,200 mm.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. About 128 species have been recorded, among which seven species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome (A04) and 17 species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome (A05) occur (see Table 3).
Non-bird biodiversity: The primate Cercopithecus preussi (EN) still occurs; Gorilla gorilla (EN) at least used to do so, and is thought to visit the area seasonally, crossing from neighbouring Cameroon during the wet season. Some 52 of Nigeria’s 550 nationally endangered plants are found on the Obudu Plateau.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Many of the montane forest patches are badly degraded through subsistence farming and the grasslands suffer from overgrazing which, in places, has engendered serious sheet and gully erosion. Other major threats include bush fire and hunting. One of the largest forest patches and adjoining grassland has, however, been fenced by the Leventis Foundation to keep out livestock, and a firebreak has been constructed. A birdwatching trail and tree hide are maintained in an attempt to boost ecotourism. A local NGO is working with communities in the area to promote the sustainable use of the plateau’s natural resources.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Obudu Plateau. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 14/12/2019.