Biodiversity

Over four hundred (400) of the 2214 plants species occurring in Ghana’s high forest zone are recorded at Kakum. The tree layer, about 80% cover, is made up of three canopies. The common emergent trees, about 50-80m high, are Entandrophragma cylindricum, E. angolense, Guarea cedrata, G.thompsonii, Piptadeniastrum africanum, Milicia excelsa Lophira alata and Triplochiton scleroxylon. The second storey, up to 40m, consist of trees of small and deeper crowns, straight trunks and supporting roots, such as Sterculia rhinopetalia, S. oblonga, Pterygota macrocarpa, Anigeria robusta Terminalia superba, and Strombosia glaucescens. Common trees in the third storey, about 5-18m, are Blighia sapida, Trichilia monadelpha, T. prieuriana and Diospyros sanza-minika. Epiphytic plants growing on the trees and shrubs are orchids and ferns and occasionally strangling figs. Kakum is home to one of the biggest trees found in Ghana namely Tieghemella heckelii (Baku) located on the mid-eastern section of the park near Assin Mesormagor.

About 40 species of mammals including forest elephants, bongo, red river hog, black and white colobus and other primates, species of duikers including the yellow-backed duiker, water chevrotain, species of hogs,  pangolins.

About 266 species of birds including hornbills, frazer-eagle owl, african gray and senegal parrot, white-breasted guinea fowl (Agelastes meleagrides) and threatened yellow-throated olive bird (Criniger olivaceus).

Reptile species including monitor lizard, dwarf crocodile, slender snouted crocodile, and variety of snakes, Homes’s hinged tortoise and serrated tortoise

Over 550 species of butterflies and wide variety of insects occur at the area (two thirds of all Ghana’s 860 butterflies). Also discovered is Dioptes hairstreak which is new to the entire butterfly world and also described. The name Dioptes kakumi (Larsen, 1994) was given to it after careful study. Rich aquatic fauna including new species of chiromid and tricoptera (caddis flies), fresh water shrimps.

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