Sambisa lies within the catchment of the Yedseram river, south-east of Maiduguri in the north-east of the country. The dominant vegetation is Sudan–Guinea Savanna but, as a result of human activities, areas of the reserve have taken on a more Sahelian aspect. Dominant tree species include Detarium macrocarpum, Ficus spp., Vitex doniana, Anogeissus leiocarpus, Balanites aegyptiaca, Prosopis africana, Acacia spp., Piliostigma thonningii, Combretum spp., Adansonia digitata, Diospyros mespiliformis, Tamarindus indica and Terminalia spp.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. To date, 62 species have been recorded, including four species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome (A04) (see Table 3). Nationally uncommon species include Terathopius ecaudatus, Sagittarius serpentarius and Ardeotis arabs. The site is also thought to be the last in the country at which Struthio camelus occurs.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals of global conservation concern include Loxodonta africana (EN), Hippotragus equinus (LR/cd) and Alcelaphus buselaphus (LR/cd).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Although legally protected, the site suffers particularly from widespread felling of trees for fuelwood. Additionally, illegal grazing, poaching and over-fishing (including with chemicals, which also kills piscivorous birds), are serious problems. There are proposals to include the site within the Chad Basin National Park.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sambisa Game Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 24/01/2022.