Site description (2001 baseline)
The Forêt Classée de la Lama (also known as the Forêt de Ko), in the centre-south of the country, south of the city of Abomey, used to comprise 16,000 ha of natural forest but by 1986, when a core area was designated for special protection, the amount of intact forest had been reduced to 2,400 ha. This core area of 4,500 ha, known as the Noyau Central, includes within it the remaining dense forest (now only 1,800 ha) with Afzelia africana, Bombax buonopozense, Ceiba pentandra and Parinari excelsa. Lama forest lies in an east–west oriented depression, the clay soils of which permit flooding of extensive areas in the wet season. This flooding is inimical to some tree species and their absence may account for a scarcity of frugivorous bird species in the forest. The Noyau Central is an ecological island surrounded by degraded forest, plantations of teak (Tectonia grandis), tree-less bush dominated by Chromolaena odorata and farmland.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. To date, 106 species have been recorded, many of which are species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome, such as Sarothrura pulchra, Phyllastrephus albigularis, Bleda syndactyla, B. canicapilla, Illadopsis puveli, Apalis rufogularis and Fraseria ocreata. The forest also supports a population of Guttera pucherani. Further surveys will undoubtedly lead to the discovery of more forest species. In addition, two species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome (A04) have also been recorded; see Table 2.
Non-bird biodiversity: Cephalophus silvicultor (LR/cd) has been recorded.
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Lama Forest. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/lama-forest-iba-benin on 28/02/2024.