The Ankasa Resource Reserve and Nini-Sushien National Park are situated in the Western Region to the north of the Axim–Mpataba road. The vegetation of the two conservation areas is wet evergreen forest and the two are reported to be botanically similar. Nini Sushien is classified as Condition 1 Forest while Ankasa Resource Reserve is Condition 2. There is a village, Nkwanta, situated some 8 km inside the reserve, whose farms cover an area of approximately 100 ha; here there is also an abandoned coconut plantation. The southern parts of Ankasa were logged from the early 1960s up to about 1974. Logging intensity was, however, relatively low due to the small amounts of commercially valuable timber.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. This is one of the few sites in the country where the avifauna has been well studied and, to date, is known to support the largest number of threatened species of any forest site. Scotopelia ussheri is known from two records, one from Ankasa river and one from Nini Sushien river, while Agelastes meleagrides is reported to be killed occasionally by hunters in Ankasa Resource Reserve and there is a single record from Sushien river. There is also an unconfirmed sighting of Campephaga lobata (see Table 3). The avifauna at the site includes eight species of birds of prey, eight species of hornbills and a number of species, such as Tigriornis leucolophus, which were recorded at only a few other sites.
Non-bird biodiversity: All 10 forest primates recorded in Ghana, including Cercocebus atys (LR/nt), Cercopithecus diana roloway (CR), Procolobus badius waldroni (CR), Procolobus verus (LR/nt), Colobus vellerosus (VU) and Pan troglodytes (EN), have been reported in the past. Recent surveys confirmed the occurrence of C. diana roloway. Other species of conservation concern occurring in the area include Loxodonta africana cyclotis (EN), Tragelaphus euryceros (LR/nt), Cephalophus ogilbyi (LR/nt), C. dorsalis (LR/nt) and Profelis aurata.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The Ankasa Resource Reserve and Nini-Sushien National Park comprise the former Ankasa River Forest Reserve, designated in 1934. In 1976 the reserve was split into the Ankasa Game Production Reserve (now termed Resource Reserve, 34,900 ha), and the Nini-Sushien National Park (17,500 ha), with the Nini-Sushien river forming the boundary between the two, and the administrative authority shifted from the Forestry Department to the Wildlife Department. Ankasa is considered to be the ‘hottest’ forest in Ghana, with a GHI of 301, indicating a particularly high density of rare species. Nini Sushien (GHI 205) contains one of the few remaining blocks of relatively untouched forest in the country. This, plus the faunal diversity of the site, makes the two areas one of the most important sites for conservation of forest biodiversity in Ghana. Current protection efforts are inadequate, staffing levels are low and staff have little motivation. Hunting and illegal exploitation of non-timber forest products are evident in many parts of the reserves. Recent financial support from the European Union under the Ghana Protected Area Development Programme is expected to enhance protection of the site.