Ngotto, in the south of the country, west of the town of Mbaïki, is part of the Lobaye forest, on sandstone. The site is part of the area currently being managed by the European Union-funded Ecofac project; the IBA comprises the conservation area (the ‘Basse-Lobaye Reserve’ of 14,600 ha), which it is hoped to expand to 73,300 ha, and a zone of forestry management (195,000 ha). Excluded is the forestry exploitation zone (556,700 ha). The conservation area lies between the Mbaéré and Bodingué rivers (south-west of Bambio), and comprises two major habitat-types, both reportedly pristine in places; semi-deciduous forest and savanna. Along watercourses the forest becomes riparian or even seasonally flooded. Important trees for birds include Staudtia gabonensis, Pycnanthus angolensis, Celtis spp., Musanga cecropioides, Dacryodes edulis, Uapaca heudelotii, Strombosia spp. and Blighia welwitschii. The wooded savannas are dominated by small trees such as Annona senegalensis, Terminalia glaucescens, Hymenocardia acida, Bridelia ndellensis and Maprounea africana. The savannas are clearly separated from the adjacent forest and it is thought that regular bush fires may preclude regeneration of forest-edge trees. Nearer the Lobaye river the grassland is less well-wooded and is seasonally inundated in places.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The number of species recorded from this site is 332, of which 270 certainly or probably breed. The avifauna also includes six species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome (A04) near the southern limit of their distributions (see Table 3).
Non-bird biodiversity: Large mammals are very scarce in the area now, doubtless as a result of the considerable subsistence hunting pressure.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The area is currently administered by the Ecofac Project, funded by the European Union. As the project includes a commercial forestry element, it is to be supposed that some funding will continue to be generated for some time in the future, even if direct support from the European Union should stop. A management plan is being prepared, but clearly the long-term conservation of the Ngotto area will depend on factors that are probably outside the control of the current donors.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ngotto. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 27/10/2021.