Key Biodiversity Areas identification in the Upper Guinea forest biodiversity hotspot

O.M.L. Kouame, N. Jengre, M. Kobele, D. Knox, D.B. Ahon, J. Gbondo, J. Gamys, W. Egnankou, D. Siaffa, A. Okoni-Williams, M. Saliou


Priority-setting approaches and tools are commons ways to support the rapid extinction of species and their habitats and the effective allocation of resources for their conservation. The Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) approach is a method for the identification of fine-scale priority areas for conservation. This process led bottom-up has been used in the Upper Guinea Forest Ecosystem of West Africa where human-induced changes have increased the extinction risk of several endemic and threatened species. The irreplaceability and vulnerability criteria commonly used in conservation planning have been used to identify key biodiversity areas in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Point locality data were compiled from scientific reports, papers published in scientific journals and museum records. The delineation was conducted following a series of decision rules. In most cases existing IBA polygons and protected areas boundaries were used. For the new sites, temporary boundaries have been drawn and will be confirmed with land-use data. Preliminary KBA data were reviewed by specialists during formal workshops. One hundred and fifty four KBA have been identified in the five countries with 202 globally threatened species. Currently 63% of the KBA are protected. Two AZE sites still exist in the region. This assessment is a first step and is driven from the best available data at the time. There is a need to refine it with recent biodiversity surveys to assist decision-makers in achieving their conservation management goals.

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Copyright (c) 2012 O.M.L. Kouame, N. Jengre, M. Kobele, D. Knox, D.B. Ahon, J. Gbondo, J. Gamys, W. Egnankou, D. Siaffa, A. Okoni-Williams, M. Saliou

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