Fazao-Malfakassa National Park is situated in the centre-west of the country, near, and at one point against, the international border with Ghana. The park holds the most extensive area of undisturbed vegetation in Togo. The terrain is rugged and includes the Monts de Malfakassa in the north and the Monts du Fazao in the centre with a precipitous cliff-face, the Falaise de Boulowou, along its western edge. It is the only National Park with such characteristics in West Africa. The habitat is varied and includes savanna woodland (Afzelia africana, Anogeisseus leiocarpus and Isoberlinia doka communitiesand Monotes kerstingii–Uapaca togoensis communities), good stands of gallery forest (Dialium guineensis, Antiaris africana, Berlinia grandiflora), submontane forest and grass-covered hilltops.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. The site is important on account of its large size and undisturbed habitat. It is one of the few places in the country where Bucorvus abyssinicus occurs and is a refuge for many of the rarer birds of prey (e.g. Hieraaetus dubius and Spizaetus africanus), as well as Guttera pucherani and Francolinus lathami. The area probably harbours many as yet unrecorded species, especially in the well-wooded valleys of the Kpaza and Koué rivers.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals of global conservation concern include Panthera leo (VU), Loxodonta africana (EN) and Cephalopus dorsalis (LR/nt). In addition, Pan troglodytes (EN) is reputed to occur.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The park suffered from increased poaching after the political upheavals of the early 1990s. Other threats include illegal gold prospecting which damages riverine habitats (e.g. in the Loukoulou river), illegal honey-gathering and a plan to build a road through the park to Ghana. The F. Weber Convention signed an agreement with the Government of Togo in 1990 to manage the park and its hotel for 25 years.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Fazao-Malfakassa National Park. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 20/11/2019.