|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
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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.
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.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Western Area Peninsula Non-hunting Forest Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/04/2019.