Príncipe forests

Country/territory: São Tomé e Príncipe

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2 (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 5,670 ha

Protection status:

Site description
The site covers the southern third of Príncipe and consists mainly of lowland evergreen forest, from sea-level to the summit of Pico do Príncipe at 948 m. Four other peaks higher than 500 m are included: Mesa (537 m), Pico Papagaio (680 m), Carriote (839 m) and Pico Mencorne (921 m). Deep valleys have been scoured into the whole area, producing extremely rugged terrain and, in places, the ground is littered with sharp-edged stones and rocks. There is, however, a relatively flat area in the south-west. The area is poorly known botanically. Old secondary growth occurs on the northern and eastern fringes of the massif.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 2 for key species. A total of 28 species have been recorded, of which 23 are forest residents. Among these are four species of global conservation concern and the seven species endemic to Príncipe: Alcedo nais, Horizorhinus dohrni, Nectarinia hartlaubii, Speirops leucophaeus, Ploceus princeps, Lamprotornis ornatus and Dicrurus modestus. Others present in these forests include all those considered to be subspecies endemic to Príncipe: Bostrychia olivacea rothschildi, Columba larvata principalis, Treron calva virescens, Halcyon malimbica dryas, Turdus olivaceofuscus xanthorhynchus, Zosterops ficedulinus ficedulinus and Serinus rufobrunneus rufobrunneus. The status of B. o. rothschildi is unclear, but it seems to be very rare. In contrast to São Tomé, the endemic subspecies of T. olivaceofuscus and Z. ficedulinus do not occur in secondary growth or plantations or are, at least, rare in such habitats.

Non-bird biodiversity: The site holds the skink Feylinia polylepis, the burrowing snake Typhlops elegans and the frog Leptoptelis palmatus, all endemic to Príncipe, as well as an endemic subspecies of the shrew Crocidura poensis.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Príncipe forests. Downloaded from on 14/07/2020.