Western Area Peninsula Forest National Park This is an IBA in Danger! 

Country/territory: Sierra Leone

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 18,337 ha

Conservation Society of Sierra Leone
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2018 very unfavourable very high low
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2001 baseline)
The Western Area Peninsula Forest (WAPF) Reserve is part of the Freetown peninsula, a narrow chain of undulating hills approximately 37 km long and 14 km wide, with peaks reaching 900 m. It contains the only remaining patch of tropical rainforest in west Sierra Leone. A thin strip of shoreline bounds it to the north, west and south. Freetown, with a population of 800,000 (1992 census), occupies the northern end of the peninsula and several settlements are found along the roads leading from the capital. The interior hills are unpopulated, but much wood-cutting and, to a lesser extent, farming occur within the Forest Reserve, especially around the boundaries. The vegetation is mainly closed-canopy, lowland evergreen forest, interrupted by laterite plains covered with natural grassland. The relief is generally fairly steep and hills are drained by a number of rocky, seasonally flowing streams. The reserve includes two major dams that supply water to Freetown and other communities around the peninsula.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. A total of 314 species have been recorded from the site, including 91 certain/probable breeders and a number of migrants that occasionally visit water-bodies in and around the reserve. The WAPF holds five species of global conservation concern. Two active colonies, with five nests, of Picathartes gymnocephalus have been discovered in this reserve; six other nesting sites are known, but are either abandoned or are of uncertain activity status.

Non-bird biodiversity: The WAPF supports the following primate species: Pan troglodytes verus (EN), Procolobus badius (LR/nt), Colobus polykomus (LR/nt), Cercocebus atys (LR/nt) and Cercopithecus diana (VU). Other fauna known from this site include three species of duiker, Cephalopus jentinki (VU), C. niger (LR/nt) and C. maxwelli (LR/nt), as well as the frog Cardioglossa aureoli.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Western Area Peninsula Forest National Park. Downloaded from on 01/12/2023.