Lobéké National Park is situated in the extreme south-east of the country and is immediately adjacent to two other major reserves in the Central African Republic and Congo (IBAs CF008 and CG001 respectively); its eastern limit is the large, sandy Sangha river on Cameroon’s international border with both CAR and Congo. Most of the forest has never been logged; it is largely semi-evergreen and is dominated by species of Sterculiaceae (Triplochiton, Pterygota), Ceiba pentandra and Terminalia superba. Under a rather open canopy, the understorey is either dense Marantaceae–Zingiberaceae thicket or a closed 6–8 m tall layer of Ebenaceae and Annonaceae trees. There are a few small patches of closed, evergreen Gilbertiodendron dewevrei forest near streams. The only natural savannas are saline swamps and more than a dozen important ones of up to 2–3 km² occur in the park: they are usually bordered by palm thickets (Phoenix or Raphia on wetter ground) and most contain extensive sedge marshes (Rhynchospora corymbosa). Finally, the sandbars on the Sangha provide much habitat for waders and pratincoles in the dry season.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Some 305 species have been recorded. The area is most important for Bradypterus grandis, which appears common in Rhynchospora marsh to which it is entirely confined, with local densities of c.1 pair/ha. This makes Lobéké the most important site to date for the species anywhere in Cameroon or Gabon, although a more extensive survey is needed to confirm whether the site holds over 100 pairs, as seems possible from the available habitat. Other species of interest are the relatively rare Bostrychia olivacea, Otus icterorhynchus, Melignomon zenkeri, Muscicapa tessmanni (all four are also recorded in nearby Boumba–Bek, CM030) and Ploceus dorsomaculatus. Glaucidium capense is locally common and there are three species of forest nightjar, including Caprimulgus ?prigoginei (see Nki site account, CM032). The yellow-bellied form of Stiphrornis erythrothorax (which has been described as a new species S. sanghensis, but see under CM030) is common.
Non-bird biodiversity: The saline swamps attract large numbers of Loxodonta africana (EN), and Tragelaphus euryceros (LR/nt) is also common; whereas these and various duikers suffer from poaching, the large primate populations are largely left in peace and Gorilla gorilla (EN) and Pan troglodytes (EN) are widespread.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lobéké National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/12/2021.