Omo Forest Reserve is located about 135 km north-east of Lagos, some 20 km from the coast. The terrain is undulating and elevation reaches about 300 m on some rocky hills. The eastern border is formed by the Omo river which, with its many tributaries, drain the reserve. Omo is contiguous with five other, highly degraded, Forest Reserves, the largest of which is Oluwa Forest Reserve to the east. The vegetation is mixed moist semi-evergreen rainforest. Due to selective exploitation in the past, the forest is largely mature secondary, with pockets of primary forest along river courses and in other areas where log extraction is difficult. Average annual rainfall is over 2,000 mm.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. To date, 147 species have been recorded, including the nationally uncommon Canirallus oculeus, Ispidina lecontei, Ceratogymna atrata, Campethera caroli and Parmoptila woodhousei.
Non-bird biodiversity: Plant diversity is high, with over 200 tree species recorded. Mammals include Cercopithecus erythrogaster (VU) and Loxodonta africana cyclotis (EN).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Part of the site, a 460 ha forest block to the south of the confluence of the Omo river with its tributary the Owena, has been declared both a Strict Nature Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve. Logging, illegal hunting and afforestation with exotic species are the major threats. The ecological integrity of the reserve was compromised when about 20% of the area was cleared and replanted with Gmelina arborea. The new Shagamu–Benin expressway threatens the reserve by making easy the transport of logs from the reserve. There are several human settlements (with a total population of about 7,000) within and around the reserve. An estimated 32,812 mammals were taken illegally from the reserve as ‘bush-meat’ in 1994. A plan to extend the Biosphere Reserve has been drawn up and submitted to the Ogun State Government.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Omo Forest Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/10/2021.