Kakum National Park and the contiguous Assin Attandanso Resource Reserve are situated in the Central Region, about 30 minutes drive north of Cape Coast. Together, the two sites protect some 36,600 ha of moist evergreen forest (Kakum 21,200 ha, Assin Attandanso 15,400 ha). The terrain is generally flat with some hills in the south-western corner. The greater part of the site has been selectively logged. Kakum was logged from at least 1975 to 1989, while logging in Assin Attandanso was continuous from 1975 to 1988. The recently logged areas currently support a thick undergrowth, vine tangles and regenerating secondary forest, but good forest still remains in other areas, with a well-developed canopy and a comparatively open understorey.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The site is one of the best-studied in Ghana with 266 species known to occur and a further 56 reported to do so, but requiring confirmation. The eight species of global conservation concern include Agelastes meleagrides which, however, occurs only in very low numbers due to past heavy hunting pressure. Nine species of hornbill have been recorded and Psittacus erithacus are commonly seen, mornings and evenings, flying overhead between roosting and feeding sites.
Non-bird biodiversity: Oates et al. (1997) report more frequent encounters with monkeys at Kakum than at any other site surveyed in Ghana. Species present included Colobus vellerosus (VU), Procolobus verus (LR/nt) and, possibly, Cercopithecus diana roloway (CR). The site is also reported to have the highest density of Loxodonta africana cyclotis (EN) recorded nationally.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Both Kakum and Assin Attandanso were originally Forest Reserves, designated in 1931 and 1937, respectively. Following recommendations dating back to the 1960s, Kakum Reserve was given National Park status and Assin Attandanso became a Resource Reserve, and the two were placed under the administration of the Wildlife Department. Under the direction of Conservation International and with funding support from USAID, Kakum is certainly the best-protected forest site in Ghana, and has been developed in recent years to become a major tourist attraction. Poaching continues to be a major problem, but it is hoped that levels will be reduced in the near future, as a result of moves to return some of the benefits of tourism from the park to local communities and involve them in its management.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kakum National Park - Assin Attandaso Resource Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 30/05/2020.