Monte Alén National Park

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Monte Alén National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Nationalpark Monte Alén (Tafel).jpg
Entrance sign (2010)
Map showing the location of Monte Alén National Park
Map showing the location of Monte Alén National Park
Location Equatorial Guinea
Coordinates 1°31′48″N 10°6′36″E / 1.53000°N 10.11000°E / 1.53000; 10.11000Coordinates: 1°31′48″N 10°6′36″E / 1.53000°N 10.11000°E / 1.53000; 10.11000
Area 2,000 km2 (770 sq mi)
Established 1990

Monte Alén National Park (Spanish: Parque nacional de Monte Alén) is located near the center of Equatorial Guinea. It was established in 1990. With an area of 2,000 square kilometres (770 sq mi),[1] it is the country's largest national park.[2] The goliath frog (Conraua goliath), one of the prominent amphibians found in the park, is the biggest frog in the world; hunting it is prohibited.[3][4]

Geography[edit]

The park has an area of 2,000 square kilometres (770 sq mi) and lies within the elevation range of 300–1,250 metres (980–4,100 ft). It was declared a national park under a presidential decree in 2000 in addition to 13 other areas.[5] The highest mountain peaks of Monte Alen and Monte Mitra (the source of the major rivers in the area) lie within the limits of the park. Uoro River lies to the west of the park. The eastern part of the park is bounded by the Niefang-Gabon road. There are a few patches of rock outcrops. Lake Atoc has forest cover in its entire catchment.[5][6]

Trekking paths are well laid out in the park. Logging operation within the park is fully controlled.[7]

The climate is hot humid equatorial, with an average temperature of about 25 °C (77 °F) in the lowland area and 20–23 °C (68–73 °F) in the highlands. The mean annual rainfall is between 3,000–3,500 millimetres (120–140 in).[5]

Fauna[edit]

A model of the goliath frog (Conraua goliath) in the American Museum of Natural History.

The park has recorded 265 species of birds. Some of the prominent species include three montane species, Coracina caesia, Dryoscopus angolensis and Phylloscopus herberti; Phylloscopus budongoensis, the only warblers species found in the park; Picathartes oreas; Melignomon zenkeri; Muscicapa tessmanni and Batis minima; possibly Apus sladeniae.[6]

The park has 105 mammal species which includes 16 species of primates.[8] Some of the primate species recorded are Colobus satanas, Cercocebus torquatus, mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Other mammal species include elephants (bush elephants, Loxodonta africana, and forest elephants, Loxodonta cyclotis), and shrews (Crocidura grassei).[6][9] Sixty-five species of reptiles are reported,[8] including crocodiles.[9] Amphibians reported include Petropedetes palmipes[10] and Leptodactylodon stevarti[11] which are in the IUCN Red List. Goliath frogs (Conraura goliath) are found in the southern part of the park.[6][9]

Conservation[edit]

Monte Alén

In 1989, conservation of the forest area of the park was zoned for purpose of awarding concessions for logging, and agroforestry activities were encouraged.[12] A study conducted under USAID observed that hunting of mammals in the park was a serious issue which needed urgent remedial conservation action.[5] By 2005, Caldecott reported that agriculture, hunting, and logging were not allowed in the park.[13]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Caldecott, Julian Oliver; Miles, Lera (2005). World Atlas of Great Apes and Their Conservation. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24633-1.
  • Davies, Glyn; Brown, David, eds. (13 November 2007). Bushmeat and livelihoods: wildlife management and poverty reduction. Blackwell Pub. ISBN 978-1-4051-6779-6.
  • Dorcas, Michael E.; Gibbons, Whit (6 April 2011). Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-9935-5.
  • Planet, Lonely (1 October 2014). The World: A Traveller's Guide to the Planet. Lonely Planet Publications. ISBN 978-1-74360-584-4.
  • Resources, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural (1989). IUCN Bulletin. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
  • Richmond, Simon; Butler, Stuart; Clammer, Paul; Corne, Lucy; Fitzpatrick, Mary; Holden, Trent; Lee, Jessica; Smith, Helena; Wheeler, Donna (1 October 2013). Lonely Planet Africa. Lonely Planet Publications. ISBN 978-1-74321-803-7.
  • Sirohi, Madhu Singh (1 January 2008). Endangered: Life in the Amphibian World. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). ISBN 978-81-7993-195-0.

References[edit]

  1. ^ World Database on Protected Areas[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Davies & Brown 2007, p. 75.
  3. ^ Sirohi 2008, p. 33.
  4. ^ Dorcas & Gibbons 2011, p. 13.
  5. ^ a b c d "A biodiversity assessment of the Monte Mitra forest, Monte Alen National Park, Equatorial Guinea" (pdf). USAID. pp. 3–6, 79. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d "Monte Alen National Park". Birdlife International. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  7. ^ Richmond et al. 2013, p. 1191.
  8. ^ a b "Monte Alen National Park". Embassy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in the United Kingdom. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Planet 2014, p. 573.
  10. ^ "Petropedetes palmipes". The IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Leptodactylodon stevarti". The IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  12. ^ Resources 1989, p. 23.
  13. ^ Caldecott & Miles 2005, p. 345.