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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Massif of Nimba is situated on the border between Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. Mount Nimba is part of the ‘Guinean Backbone’, rising 1,752 meters above sea level and representing a vast watershed with a great topographical diversity. Habitats are also very varying, including high altitude grassland, plain savanna with numerous herbaceous plant communities, primary forests located mainly on the foothills and in the valleys, drier mid-altitude forests as well as gallery forests. The area contains a rich endemic flora (including Blaeria nimbana and Dolichos nimbaensis) and fauna. Among the noteworthy animals is the viviparous toad Nectophrynoides occidentalis, which occurs in mountain grasslands and is the world’s only known tail-less amphibian that is totally viviparous. Mount Nimba was designated as a biosphere reserve and World Heritage Site in 1981.
There has probably never been any village on the actual mountains. However, there are ten villages in the immediate vicinity of Nimba with several thousand inhabitants, whose main economic activity is agriculture. Since 1991, population pressure has been increasing since many refugees have settled in the area. In response to this and the impact of an iron-ore mining, the Guinean government has established a management body (Centre de Gestion de l’Environnement des Monts Nimba), responsible for all environmental and legal questions, for the monitoring of water quality, for integrated rural development and for socio-economic studies. Since 1954, the Environmental Research Institute at Bossou (IREB) and the Nimba Scientific Station at Ziela carry out scientific surveys in the area. Studies on the Bossou Chimpanzee are undertaken by students and researchers from Guinea’s universities and the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University (Japan).
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical humid forests
  Major habitats & land cover types   High altitude grassland with Loudetia kagerensis, Lophira procera, Protea angolensis; ravines dominated by the tree fern Cyathula cylindrica var. mannii; plains savanna; gallery forest with Parinari excelsa; primary forest dominated by Triplochiton scleroxylon, Chlorophora regia, Morus mesozygia etc.; drier mid-altitude forests with Triplochiton scleroxylon, Piptadeniastrum africanum and Parkia bicolor; dry forests
  Location   07°18'N; 10°35'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   145,200
  Core area(s)   21,780
  Buffer zone(s)   35,140
  Transition area(s) when given   88,280
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +450 to +1,752
  Year designated   1980
  Administrative authorities   Réserve de la Biosphère des Monts Nimba Centre de Gestion de l’Environnement des Monts Nimba (CEGEN)
  Brief description   Biological inventories (fauna, flora, endemic species)
Studies on the dense humid tropical forest, Andropogon
savanna and altitudinal prairies, gallery forest soils and geomorphology (soils classification, evolution, in particular of ferrallitic soils)
Hydrology and meteorology
Primatology and protection of the Bossou chimpanzees
Socio-economic studies of people living in the reserve
Long-term impact of tourism
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
Studies on the Ecovillages project in the biosphere reserve
(Bossou and N’Zoo)
Indicators of sustainability relevant to economic activities:
Area of surfaces under agricultural experimentation; rice cultivations; number of cultivations of dwarf palm trees, "hevea"; number of establishments with animals (cattle, fish, etc.); access to agricultural credits
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Geomorphology, hydrology, meteorology, soil.
  Biodiversity   Conservation, endemic species, fauna, flora, mammals, species inventorying/inventory, tropical grassland and savanna systems, tropical humid forest.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, indicators of sustainability, micro-credits, modelling, social/socio-economic aspects, tourism.
  Integrated monitoring   Impact and risk studies/Environmental impact, mapping, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address   Kader Banqoura
Station Biologique des Monts Nimbas - S/C DNRST
B.P. 561
  Telephone   (224) 45 43 06
  Fax   (224) 45 32 17

Last updated: 20/10/2007

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