Mount Afadjato - Agumatsa Range forest, Ghana
KBA status: confirmed
Rationale for qualifying as KBA: This site qualifies as a Key Biodiversity Area of international significance because it meets one or more previously established criteria and thresholds for identifying sites of biodiversity importance (including Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, Alliance for Zero Extinction sites, and Key Biodiversity Areas) KBA identified in the CEPF Ecosystem Profile of the Guinea Forests of West Africa Hotspot (2015). Taxonomy, nomenclature and threat status follow the 2013 IUCN Red List.
The site is located in the Hohoe District, south-east of the town of Hohoe. It is part of the Akwapim-Togo Range, which is aligned north-east to south-west between the Volta river and the international border with Togo. Afadjato (885 m) is the highest peak in Ghana. The site includes that part of the mountain range which falls within the four Traditional Areas of Gbledi, Fodome, Liati and Wli, as well as the Afadjato and Hekpome caves. The precise boundaries of the site are yet to be defined, but the area included in the proposed reserve is estimated to cover c.2,000 ha. Mount Afadjato and the adjoining Agumatsa Ranges lie within the Dry Semi-Deciduous Forest zone, but include well-developed Guinea Savanna. The western slopes of the hills support semi-deciduous forest, parts of which are disturbed, but the steeper eastern sides are dominated by wooded savanna. Derived savanna grassland occurs in low-lying areas between settlements and on the lower slopes of the hills, but the presence of scattered, remnant forest trees, e.g. Cola gigantea, Albizia adianthifolia, Morus mesozygia and Antiaris toxicaria, suggest that the area once also supported semi-deciduous forest. Along the upper slopes of Afadjato, closed-canopy forest persists until within 20 m of the peak. Forest vegetation then quickly gives way to savanna at the summit. The site lies very close to Misahöhe Forest Reserve in Togo (IBA TG004).
The area is currently not protected and has only recently been proposed as a Community Nature Reserve, under a project funded by the Netherlands Development Administration and implemented by the Ghana Wildlife Society and the people of the Gbledi Traditional Area. The forests on the mid-slopes of the mountain have a GHI of 116. The distinctive vegetation and its high susceptibility to fire place the area on the national priority list of forest sites in need of protection. Until recently, the forest was used by the local communities for hunting and the collection of forest products including Thaumatococcus daniellii, a species of Marantaceae exported for the extraction of the sweetener thaumatin, the leaves of which are used locally as food wrappers.