Site description (2001 baseline)
Abuko is a small area of fenced forest and woodland located on the main south bank road, 3 km from the edge of the main urban centre of Serekunda. The Lamin stream flows through the centre of the reserve. Bordering the stream is the largest and most botanically rich example of semi-evergreen forest in the country. Forest covers approximately one third of the area of the reserve. Characteristic canopy tree species are Elaeis guineensis, Khaya senegalensis, Erythrophleum guineense, Chlorophora regia and Anthocleista procera. There is an abundance of lianas and a dense understorey in more open areas, smothered by the climber Saba senegalensis. Away from the stream the forest merges into savanna woodland. There are several pools and patches of tall swamp vegetation along the lower reaches of the stream.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. The reserve is probably the most intensively birdwatched forest in West Africa. Abuko has the richest assemblage in the country of species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome. Characteristic species which are locally common here include Tauraco persa, Tockus fasciatus, Andropadus virens, Hylia prasina, Apalis flavida and Terpsiphone rufiventer. Other notable breeding species include Gorsachius leuconotus and Accipiter tachiro. In addition, one species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome occurs; see Table 2.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals of global conservation concern include Procolobus badius temminckii (EN). Abuko is the only breeding locality known in the country for the crocodile Osteolaemus tetrapsis (VU).
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Abuko Nature Reserve. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/abuko-nature-reserve-iba-gambia on 27/02/2024.