You Can Help Create Atewa Hills National Park – Ghana

Long-tailed pangolin (Uromanis tetradactyla)

You can help create an new national park! Help create Atewa Hills National Park as Ghana’s 6th national park

The Atewa Range Forest Reserve is Ghana’s most biodiverse — and most threatened — wilderness area. There is wide consensus among scientists and NGO’s that the reserve should be protected as Ghana’s 6th national park: the Atewa Hills National Park. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is working with domestic and international organizations to make the Atewa Hills National Park a reality. Located near Kibi, halfway between Accra and Kumasi, the Atewa Range Forest Reserve is home to the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi; a close relative of the world’s largest frog, the Goliath Frog Conraua goliath). Numerous other amphibian species as well as a diverse non-amphibious flora and fauna live in the reserve.The Atewa forest is listed as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International and is home to 700+ butterfly species.

Save The Frogs GhanaAs recently as 2007, the multi-national ALCOA was seeking permission to conduct mountaintop-removal bauxite mining on three mountains in the reserve. There is continuous threat from other mining companies, many based in China, as well as the Romanian company Vimetco. Mountaintop removal mining destroys habitat and clogs the streams and rivers below with silt and the byproduct chemicals emerging from the mine. As with the vast majority of Ghana’s forest reserves, legal logging takes place on the land, though the participant companies regularly harvest more trees than they were allotted, and seldom employ environmentally-responsible forestry practices.

Illegal logging is also rampant in the park, and locals eat the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frogs. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana plans to educate the local people about the ecological value of the Atewa Hills. We will also be building capacity in the surrounding villages: training the locals in beekeeping and mushroom farming so they have new income and food sources that reduce their need to exploit the reserve.

Papilio antimachus

The Atewa Hills are the headwaters for the Densu, Ayensu and Birim rivers, which supply drinking water to about 5 million Ghanaians. The rivers will forever be degraded if Atewa is mined, preventing it from carrying out its ecosystem services.

Creating the Atewa Hills National Park is SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana’s most important current campaign. Success would be a huge victory for Ghana’s frogs, Ghana’s people and for worldwide environmental conservation efforts, but it will not be easy: there are many influential companies and individuals who profit off of the continued exploitation of the Atewa Range Forest Reserve and will work diligently to block the new national park. Fortunately, the will of the people can overcome the existent power structure if the people are dedicated and well-organized. We at SAVE THE FROGS! & SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana will be doing our part, and we welcome your financial assistance and volunteer time.

The Atewa Range Forest Reserve is Ghana’s most biodiverse — and most threatened — wilderness area. There is wide consensus among scientists and NGO’s that the reserve should be protected as Ghana’s 6th national park: the Atewa Hills National Park. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is working with domestic and international organizations to make the Atewa Hills National Park a reality. Located near Kibi, halfway between Accra and Kumasi, the Atewa Range Forest Reserve is home to the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi; a close relative of the world’s largest frog, the Goliath Frog Conraua goliath). Numerous other amphibian species as well as a diverse non-amphibious flora and fauna live in the reserve.The Atewa forest is listed as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International and is home to 700+ butterfly species.

Save The Frogs GhanaAs recently as 2007, the multi-national ALCOA was seeking permission to conduct mountaintop-removal bauxite mining on three mountains in the reserve. There is continuous threat from other mining companies, many based in China, as well as the Romanian company Vimetco. Mountaintop removal mining destroys habitat and clogs the streams and rivers below with silt and the byproduct chemicals emerging from the mine. As with the vast majority of Ghana’s forest reserves, legal logging takes place on the land, though the participant companies regularly harvest more trees than they were allotted, and seldom employ environmentally-responsible forestry practices.

Illegal logging is also rampant in the park, and locals eat the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frogs. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana plans to educate the local people about the ecological value of the Atewa Hills. We will also be building capacity in the surrounding villages: training the locals in beekeeping and mushroom farming so they have new income and food sources that reduce their need to exploit the reserve.

The Atewa Hills are the headwaters for the Densu, Ayensu and Birim rivers, which supply drinking water to about 5 million Ghanaians. The rivers will forever be degraded if Atewa is mined, preventing it from carrying out its ecosystem services.

Creating the Atewa Hills National Park is SAVE THE FROGS!Ghana’s most important current campaign. Success would be a huge victory for Ghana’s frogs, Ghana’s people and for worldwide environmental conservation efforts, but it will not be easy: there are many influential companies and individuals who profit off of the continued exploitation of the Atewa Range Forest Reserve and will work diligently to block the new national park.

The Atewa Range Forest Reserve was established as a national forest reserve in 1926, and has since been recognized as one of Ghana’s Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas. The Atewa Range Forest Reserve is located near Kibi town, to the west of the Accra–Kumasi road. This range of hills, aligned approximately north–south, are steep-sided with more or less flat summits. They represent the last remains of the Tertiary peneplain that once covered southern Ghana and are characterized by very ancient bauxitic soils. The reserve lies within the moist semi-deciduous forest zone. About 17,400 ha of the reserve is upland evergreen forest. Atewa is one of only two Forest Reserves in Ghana in which this forest-type occurs and these two reserves together hold 95% of the upland evergreen forest in the country. The diverse flora contains submontane elements, with characteristic herbaceous species, and abundant and diverse epiphytic and terrestrial ferns; many plant species found here are not known to occur elsewhere in Ghana,including Celtis durandii. The Atewa Forest Reserve has over 150 different species of ferns. Two of these species of fern are not found anywhere in the world. The bovals (seasonal marshy grasslands on bauxite outcrops), swamps and thickets that occur here are also thought to be nationally unique.

An unusually high 155 bird species are found in the Atewa Range Forest Reserve. This avifauna includes a significant number of nationally rare species such as Afep pigeon (Columba unicincta), olive long-tailed cuckoo (Cercococcyx olivinus),African broadbill (Smithornis capensis), least honeyguide (Indicator exilis), spotted honeyguide (Indicator maculatus), common bristlebill (Bleda syndactylus), and blue-headed crested flycatcher (Trochocercus nitens). Raptors such as the Congo serpent eagle (Dryotriorchis spectabilis), Urotriorchis macrourus, Polyboroides typus, Accipiter tachiro and Stephanoetus coronatus also occur here. There are also six bird species of global conservation concern including the brown-cheeked hornbill (Bycanistes cylindricus) and the Nimba flycatcher (Melaenornis annamarulae, the first time this bird has been recorded in Ghana.

Six endemics butterfly species Mylothris atewa, Deudorix sp. nov., Cupidesthes sp. nov., Anthene aurea, A. helpsi and Acraea kibi,occur here. The highest diversity of butterflies in Ghana are found here, including 575 of the 925 species known to occur in Ghana. This is largest number of butterfly species yet recorded from a single small forest anywhere in West Africa. The magnificent Papilio antimachus, whose wingspan is the widest in the world is found in the Atewa Range Forest Reserve.

Royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus)

There are also 32 species of amphibians found in the Atewa Range Forest Reserve, including the critically endangered frog species (Conraua derooi) whose presence in Atewa may represent the last viable population in the world. There are also 40 species of snakes found in the Atewa Range Forest Reserve. There are over 40 species of mammals found here including Yellow-backed duiker (Cephalophus silvicultor), Black duiker (Cephalophus niger), Bay duiker (Cephalophus dorsalis), Maxwell’s duiker (Cephalophus maxwellii), Royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus), Pel’s flying squirrel (Anomalurus pelii), West palm squirrel (Epixerus ebii), African civet (Civettictis civetta), African palm civet (Nandinia binotata), Long-tailed pangolin (Uromanis tetradactyla) and six species of primates, including two species of global conservation concern: Geoffroy’s pied colobus (Colobus vellerosus) and the olive colobus (Procolobus verus).

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.