Kamuku National Park is located north-west of Kaduna near Birnin Gwari in central-western Nigeria. The terrain is largely flat, rising gradually eastwards to the Birnin Gwari Ridge, which forms part of the eastern boundary. The vegetation is Guinea Savanna with, in places, some transitional Sudan Savanna elements. Dominant tree species of the park include Isoberlinia doka, Terminalia avicennioides and Detarium macrocarpum. Also common are Danellia oliveri, Nauclea latifolia, Acacia spp., Lophira lanceolata, Parkia biglobosa, Prosopis africana and Isoberlinia tomentosa. Elaeis guineensis is common in riparian forests that line small, seasonal rivers. Together with the Forest Reserves in this area the park represents one of the best remaining blocks of Sudan–Guinea Savanna vegetation in the country’s protected-area system.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. To date, 192 species have been recorded from the park. The park is also important for such species as Sagittarius serpentarius, Neotis denhami and Bucorvus abyssinicus, all now uncommon elsewhere in the country.
Non-bird biodiversity: Small but viable populations of Loxodonta africana (EN), Hippotragus equinus (LR/cd), Redunca redunca (LR/cd) and Alcelaphus buselaphus (LR/cd) occur, as do small numbers of Panthera leo (VU).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Kamuku was upgraded from a state Game Reserve to a National Park in May 1999. Major threats include hunting and illegal cattle-grazing; there are several pastoralist settlements on the edge of the park. The success of a local community-based conservation project, managed by Savanna Conservation Nigeria, a national NGO, with the aim of promoting sustainable resource use, was in part responsible for Kamuku being upgraded from a Game Reserve to National Park.