This proposed National Park includes part of Gola National Forest. It is situated in western Liberia between the Lofa and Mano rivers which, with their tributaries, drain the park. The international frontier with Sierra Leone forms the western boundary of the site, where it is contiguous with the Gola Forest Reserves IBA in Sierra Leone (SL010). The proposed park covers a large area of rainforest, evergreen in the south, becoming progressively more semi-deciduous to the north. The park also includes large patches of low bush, marshes and some savanna on lateritic soil. The region consists of a series of ridges of rounded hillocks with, in places, steep, bare, rocky slopes and river valleys. The rivers are characterized by spectacular rapids and waterfalls and are usually unfordable. The human population within the park is very low and the vegetation remains largely unmodified.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. It is possible that part of the western population of Malimbus ballmanni will be found to occur.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals recorded include Loxodonta africana (EN), Hexaprotodon liberiensis (VU), Pan troglodytes (EN) and Cercopithecus diana (VU).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The area was proposed as a National Park in 1983. Prior to the outbreak of the civil war the main threats came from the development of a railway line and a proposed iron-ore pipeline, connecting LISCO mines to the north with a planned new harbour at Robertsport. There was also a proposal for the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Mano river. However, the main areas that would have been flooded are outside the proposed park and, indeed, the dam would have provided a solid economic argument for conserving the forest upstream, to protect the water catchment. With the return of political stability, these proposed developments may recur. More likely is the threat from logging; although hitherto unlogged, there were plans for logging concessions in parts of the south-east, where part of the proposed park overlaps with Kpelle National Forest.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lofa-Gola-Mano Complex. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 02/02/2023.