The reserve is an area of secondary forest within the 1,000 ha concession of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), located on the outskirts of Ibadan. Regeneration following protection since 1965 has resulted in forest now showing few signs of human disturbance. Areas now resemble mature Guinea–Congo lowland rainforest with scattered emergents which include Ceiba, Milicia and Terminalia spp. Large clumps of bamboo Bambusa vulgaris are common; stands of Raphia vinifera are found along watercourses while scattered oil-palms Elaeis guineensis grow in both low-lying and the relatively better-drained upland areas. Thickets of climbers grow in openings where the secondary nature of the forest is most apparent. Outside the forest is an extensive area of derived savanna supporting fallow fields and experimental agricultural plots. The wet season extends from March to October and annual rainfall is 1,500–2,000 mm.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. A total of over 300 bird species have been recorded in the reserve. There have been several recent observations of Malimbus ibadanensis. Other species include Gallinago media, an infrequent visitor, and seven Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome (A04) species (see Table 3). A diverse assemblage of Palearctic waterbirds winter at the site.
Non-bird biodiversity: Some 15 species of plant of conservation concern (including an Entada species which produces the longest fruit of any plant in West Africa) occur in the reserve.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
As forest patches in the Ibadan area disappear, the reserve will become increasingly isolated. Although IITA intends to continue managing the reserve as a conservation area, there is an urgent need for the protection of other forest patches in the area as it is unlikely that the IITA reserve is, in itself, large enough to ensure the continued presence of many species, including Malimbus ibadanensis, in the region.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: IITA Forest Reserve, Ibadan. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 23/01/2020.