Cestos - Senkwen

Site description (2001 baseline):

Site location and context
This site lies on the coast between the towns of Buchanan to the north-west and Greenville to the south-east and stretches inland northwards from the coast for some 70 km. It includes part of the lower reaches of the scenic Cestos and Senkwen rivers, as well as the estuary of the latter, with 1,200 ha of mangroves. The proposed park thus embraces evergreen lowland rainforest, mangroves and undisturbed coastal vegetation including some of the last examples of littoral forest in West Africa. The area is low-lying with scattered hills.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. In addition to those listed below, it is probable that Scotopelia ussheri will be found to occur in the mangroves and riparian forest.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals include Hexaprotodon liberiensis (VU), Pan troglodytes (EN), Cercocebus torquatus (LR/nt), Piliocolobus badius (LR/nt), Colobus polykomos (LR/nt), Cercopithecus diana (VU), Cephalophus jentinki (VU), C. zebra (VU), C. sylvicultor (LR/nt), C. maxwelli (LR/nt). C. dorsalis (LR/nt), Tragelaphus euryceros (LR/nt), Syncerus caffer (LR/cd) and Hyemoschus aquaticus (DD). The local population of elephant Loxodonta africana (EN) has apparently been extirpated.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The area, part of which overlaps with the Krahn Bassa National Forest, was proposed as a National Park in 1983. During the civil war a new road directly linking Greenville with Buchanan was built, which cuts through the northern part of the proposed park. This road was constructed to allow logging of this hitherto remote area. As a result, deforestation is taking place rapidly and, following the ending of hostilities, there has been a large influx of people and associated development of settlements and agriculture. There are now organized, commercial hunting operations in the area, with the bush-meat being sent to Buchanan and Monrovia. In 1999, the situation was considerably exacerbated when an Indonesian logging company, with a concession of 1.4 million hectares, invested heavily in the area. As a result, the roads have been upgraded into full highways and intensive logging is taking place. These operations represent a threat of considerably greater magnitude than anything that has previously affected the area. They also potentially have implications for Zwedru (site LR006) and Sapo (LR008).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Cestos - Senkwen. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.