Forests are natural reserves for wild lives and are very essential for sustainability of animals. With the increasing rate of development in Nigeria, some people have been wondering whether there some forest reserves remaining. There are certainly some significant number of forest in Nigeria, of which are more predominant in the mid-southern part of the country. These forests are of different types according to the climate and vegetation of the area. This write-up will enumerate these forests in Nigeria and their locations, types and the regions they are in the country.
Nigeria is situated in four different climate zones. These zones are what determines the types of forest that are in these areas. The availability of forest reserves of different types is an important factor in tourism. This is seen as an opportunity to study wide life, carrying out various research on vegetations and animals alike. In spite of growing numbers of people and expansion of urban areas, tourists and travelers admire the natural nature of these forests. They have many opportunities here in the country, to experience different types of forests. Moreover, each category is a unique ecosystem with its distinct features, wildlife, and huge natural potential. We shall proceed to know the types of forest vegetation available in the country.
Types of Forest Vegetation Found in Nigeria
A forest is basically a region or an area that is covered with large trees and growths. These areas are maintained for wildlife, tourist attraction and as while for commercial purposes: like utilisation of these trees. In Nigeria, there are many forests which are situated in the various forest vegetation belt. The following are types of forests found in Nigeria;
- Rainforest: This type of forest houses most of the forest reserves in the country. The vegetation is found in south of the Niger River, and it’s characterized by the precipitation level of 1500 – 2000 mm/8-9 month of rainfall. This type of forest vegetation in the country is built of high-mountainous multi-tiered tropical forests, which contain trees of 40-45 meters. Notable trees include: mahoganies, walnuts, irokos, oil palms, rubber trees, and obeche trees.
- Mangrove forest: The mangrove forest is a type of vegetation that is found around the marshes of the coastal creeks, lagoons, and estuaries of southern Nigeria. This forest is very common in the coastal areas like Lagos, Calabar and Oron. Trees found here include palm trees, mangroves (both red and white), and lianas.
- Guinea Savannah: The Guinea Savannah is another vegetation that houses some good number of forests in the country. This type of vegetation is located in the middle part as it covers almost half of the country. It can be found in areas like Kaduna, Oyo, Enugu, Anambra, Edo and Ondo states. The Guinea Savannah also has a large mixture of trees and grass.
These are the notable vegetation that has the forest reserves in the country. A look at these vegetation, it is found in the central southern part of the country just before the coastal parts. These are the areas that supports forest reserves. Now, let’s take a gander at the notable forest reserves that are in these forest vegetation.
Names of Forests in Nigeria and Their Locations
After knowing what type of forests are in Nigeria, let’s take a gander at the names of forests in these areas. Below is the rundown of prominent forest reserves in the country;
Afi River Forest Reserve
The Afi River Forest Reserve located in Cross River State in the rain forest zone, it is one of the important forest reserves in Nigeria. The area serves as a home for endangered species,and it`s considered to be one of the largest remaining forest reserves in the state. The Afi River Forest Reserve lies between the Mbe Mountains Community Forest and Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. The forest has wildlife like Gorillas and other animals living in it.
Akure Forest Reserve
Another prominent forest found in Nigeria is the Akure Forest Reserve, which is in the rain forest vegetation. Located in the South-Western region of the country, precisely in Ondo state, this reserve covers a territory of over 66 square kilometers to be one of the largest forest in the country. The Akure Forest reserve is filled with various animals, and it`s on the list of forest reserves protected by the international level.
Edumanom Forest Reserve
Edumanom Forest Reserve is a mangrove forest reserves situated in the Niger Delta Region. The reserve covers an area of 93 square kilometers. The good thing about the Edumanom Forest Reserve is that it’s one of the last habitat areas for chimpanzees in the country. On a bad note, the forest area has been degraded by oil production industry which has now posed a threat to the local wild life in the forest.
Idanre Forest Reserve
Another rain forest is the Idanre Forest Reserve. This reserve is located in Idanre Local Government area, and it covers an area of over 561 square kilometers. Being a large forest reserve, it is a home for endangered species in the country. To complement this reserve, it is on the list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Ngel Nyaki Forest Reserve
The Ngel Nvaki Forest Reserve covers an area over 46 square kilometers. The forest reserve can be accessible from Yelwa village, near Cameroon boundary with the country. The area and the forest entirely is the home for Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee. There are also other animals like: Double-toothed barbed; Cameroon olive pigeon; Green bulbul; Tantalus Monkey; Mona Monkey; and Putty Nosed Monkey who live in the forest area.
Oba Hills Forest Reserve
Oba Hills Forest Reserve is partly a rainforest and guinea savannah forest located in Osun State. It covers an area of 52 square kilometers. There are good number of chimpanzees in the Oba Hills Forest reserve, but the number is depreciating and already in extinction. This is contributed by the nearness of human activities in the forest area.
Okumu Forest Reserve
Okumu Forest Reserve is arguably one of the largest forest reserves in Nigeria. Covering an area of over 1081 square kilometers, the reserve is located about 50 km from Benin, Edo state. The forest reserve offers an impressive bird-watching scene as there are over 200 species of birds in the forest area. There is also the Okumu National Park near the forest reserve, so as to create tourist attraction.
Oluwa Forest Reserve
Situated in the rain forest zone in Ondo State, Oluwa Forest Reserve is a prominent one in the country. The forest area covers an area of 829 square kilometers. This unique place is endangered as a result of human activities like hunting, poaching and as while farming. The most noticeable habitats of the area are chimpanzees and elephants.
Ise Forest Reserve
Ise Forest Reserve is found in the south western part of Nigeria. It covers an area of 142 square kilometers. The forest reserve is currently registered in the World Database of Protected Areas. There are some wildlife in the forest area.
Okeluse Forest Reserve
The Okeluse Forest Reserve is another forest reserve in the south-western region of Nigeria. The forest reserve is certainly the home to several endangered species. The total area of Okeluse Forest reserve is 144 square kilometers. The forest reserve has a rain forest type of vegetation.
That’s it on the prominent forest reserves that are found in Nigeria. This write-up also covered the types of forest in Nigeria, and the names of forests that are in, accompanied with their respective locations in the country.