The park is located beside the Lafia–Shandam road to the north of the Benue river. Two rivers, the Dep and the Li, drain the park, and join before emptying into the Benue. The land slopes gradually southwards and forms a basin, Pandam Lake—a wetland complex of approximately 2 km². The vegetation of the park is typical Sudan–Guinea Savanna with gallery forests in riparian areas. The savanna includes Burkea africana–Combretum woodlands in the south, Detarium microcarpum–Combretum woodlands in the central area and Isoberlinia doka woodlands to the north. Other trees include Parkia biglobosa, Butyrospermum paradoxum, Gardenia aqualla and Daniellia oliveri. On the scattered inselbergs, which dot the northern part of the park, Piliostigma thonningii is the dominant tree. Tree species of the gallery forests include Afzelia africana, Ceiba pentandra and Raphia sudanica. The wet season lasts from April to October and annual rainfall is 1,000–1,500 mm.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. At least 217 species have been recorded, including a few observations of Falco naumanni. The gallery forests are one of the northernmost locations in the country where Guinea–Congo Forests biome (A05) species occur; Ceratogymna elata at least used to be present in small numbers. Fifteen species of this biome have been recorded (see Table 3) including the nationally rare Scotopelia bouvieri. Scotopelia peli also occurs and has been recorded breeding. Large flocks (1,000+) of Dendrocygna viduata spend the dry season on Pandam Lake, at which Vanellus crassirostris is known to breed.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals of global conservation concern which occur, or at least used to do so, include Trichechus senegalensis (VU), Hippotragus equinus (LR/cd) and Syncerus caffer (LR/cd).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Threats include poaching, livestock-grazing and bush-burning by pastoralists. There are, or at least were, also plans for the reclamation of flood-plain habitat for the development of rice-growing schemes in areas adjacent to the park. Human population pressures around the park are growing, bringing threats from encroachment and illegal fishing; all other lakes in the area are severely overfished. There is a management plan for the park which remains unimplemented for lack of resources.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Pandam Wildlife Park. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 28/05/2020.