An important forest reserve in Ghana -The Atewa Range

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The Atewa Range (also called the Atiwa-Atwaredu ranges) is located in the Akyem Abuakwa region of southeastern Ghana, near the town of Kibi, and southwest of the Kwahu Plateau forms the south-west boundary of Lake Volta.

Known for its rare sightings the range runs roughly north-south, consisting of steep-sided hills with fairly flat summits.

The range is the site of an important forest reserve and the source of three major rivers. A large part of the area has been declared a forest reserve, including about 17,400 hectares of upland evergreen forest, rare for Ghana. The reserve which is managed by the Forestry Commission of Ghana in collaboration with other stakeholders has restricted people from farming in the area and instead is trying to encourage eco-tourism.

However, the reserve is under pressure from logging and hunting for bushmeat. It is also vulnerable to mining exploration activities since the reserve contains gold deposits as well as low-grade bauxite.

The forest reserve contains many birds that are rared elsewhere in Ghana including Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Least Honeyguide, Spotted Honeyguide, Common Bristlebill and Blue-headed Crested-Flycatcher. In a 2006 expedition to survey the reserve, scientists discovered two uncommon and possibly endangered species of primate in the reserve: Geoffroy’s pied colobus (Colobus vellerosus) and the olive colobus (Procolobus verus), as well as 17 rare butterfly species and the critically endangered frog species Conraua derooi. Butterfly species include the Papilio antimachus, which has the widest wingspan in the world and the Mylothris atewa.

The Atewa Range is also known to be the source of three important rivers: the Ayensu and Densu Rivers which flow south into the Atlantic, and the Birim which makes a long detour north and southwest around the Atewa range before joining the Pra River. The Birim, which flows through all three of the traditional Akyem areas of Ghana, is an important but declining source of diamonds.

This range is eco-tourism friendly for all eco-tourists to visit, s well as child friendly for all ages below 15 and above. Be sure to make a detour to this wonderful place.



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