This reserve occurs in the mountainous north-east of the country. The tallest peak is Bintumani (1,945 m), the highest in West Africa, west of Mount Cameroon. This range of mountains is the source of most of the rivers that flow across the country, including the Sewa river to the south-west and the Rokel river to the north-west. The vegetation comprises Guinea–Congo lowland forest with elements of montane evergreen forest up to 1,680 m and grassland on the plateau. At lower altitudes, gallery forest and wooded savanna also occur, while forest-savanna mosaic is found in places around the northern fringes. There are a few villages and some areas of farmland within the southern and western parts of the reserve.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. A total of 245 species of birds have been recorded from the reserve, including eight species of global conservation concern. A ninth, Falco naumanni, is only a rare migrant through the area. The endangered Scotopelia ussheri has been recorded on several occasions. Five active colonies of the vulnerable Picathartes gymnocephalus have been discovered. The range of habitats results in a wide diversity of both forest and savanna bird species, including four species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome (see Table 3).
Non-bird biodiversity: This reserve is home to substantial populations of the following primates: Pan troglodytes verus (EN), Procolobus badius (LR/nt), Colobus polykomus (LR/nt), Cercocebus atys (LR/nt)and Cercopithecus diana (VU). Other mammals include Loxodonta africana cyclotis (EN), Hexaprotodon liberensis (VU), Hyemoschus aquaticus (LR/nt), Cephalophus jentinki (VU), C. niger (LR/nt) and C. maxwelli (LR/nt).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Designated a Non-hunting Forest Reserve in 1952, there is currently a plan to upgrade its status to that of a National Park. The main threat to the reserve comes from unplanned agricultural activities, particularly on steep slopes. Intensive hunting occurs around the boundaries, but may extend to areas within the reserve if no proper law enforcement is exerted. Poor accessibility and low human population density in the area means that habitat-threat levels are currently low.