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May/mai 2014 90 Malimbus 28 The birds of Mbam and Djerem National Park, Cameroon by K. Serge Bobo1, Eddie Williams2, N. Dennis Anye3, M. Francis Njie3 Roger C. Fotso4 & Marc Languy5 1 Ministry of Forests and Wildlife, Direction of Wildlife and Protected Areas, Yaoundé, Cameroon. bobokadiri@yahoo.fr 2 6 Newbold Grove, Croxteth Park, Liverpool, L12 ONS, U.K. eddieirene@aol.com 3 Cameroon Biodiversity Conservation Society, PO Box 3055, Messa Yaoundé, Cameroon cbcs@iccnet.cm 4 NYZS/The Wildlife Conservation Society Cameroon Biodiversity Project, Yaoundé, Cameroon. wcscam@aol.com 5 WWF-EARPO, PO Box 62440, Nairobi, Kenya mlanguy@wwfearpo.org Received 3 December 2001; revised 20 April 2006.

Summary In the first inventory of the avifauna of the recently established Mbam and Djerem National Park in central Cameroon, based on fieldwork carried out in March 2000, a list of 362 confirmed species was compiled. A number of species rare in Cameroon are documented and many records extend the known range of species to the north or south. These preliminary surveys show that Mbam and Djerem NP is the richest protected area in bird species in Cameroon.

Résumé Les oiseaux du Parc National du Mbam et Djerem, Cameroun. Sur la base du premier inventaire des oiseaux effectué en mars 2000 dans le nouveau Parc National du Mbam et Djerem au centre du Cameroun, une liste de 362 espèces confirmées est donnée. Certaines espèces rares du Cameroun y sont aussi décrites et la distribution connue de beaucoup d’espèces s’est étendue vers le nord ou le sud. Ces premiers inventaires montrent que le PN du Mbam et Djerem est l’aire protégée la plus riche en espèces d’oiseaux de tout le Cameroun.

Introduction The Mbam and Djerem National Park was gazetted in January 2000 and consists of 416,512 ha in central Cameroon, 50 km south of Tibati and 20

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the dry season from mid-October to mid-April. The annual rainfall is c. 1900 mm and the average annual temperature is 24°C. The vegetation is sudano-guinean, between the guinean dense forest of S Cameroon and the wooded savanna of the Adamaoua plateau. The habitat is primarily forest-savanna mosaic with an area of primary lowland rainforest in the south of the park. In the wooded savanna, the following trees dominate: Annona senegalensis, Lophira lanceolata, Vitellaria paradoxa, Daniella oliveri, Azadirachta indica and Anogeissus leiocarpus, with Borassus aethiopium near the Djerem river. Hyparrhenia rufa, Imperata cylindrica and Pennisetum purpureum dominate the herb layer. In forest areas there are more semi-deciduous plants like Irvingia gabonensis, Enantia clauranta, Lophira alata and Triplochiton scleroxylon.

More details of the vegetation may be found in Maisels et al. (2000) and Maisels (2004). The relief is almost flat, but there is an altitudinal drop from 930 m to 650 m from the north to the south of the park. The park is bisected by a tributary of the Sanaga River known as the Djerem River, which passes through the Mbakaou reservoir 11 km north of the park (Fig. 1).

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Two teams surveyed the park in March 2000. The first team, composed of KSB, EW and DNA; carried out a survey 9–21 March as part of the Important Bird Areas (IBA) programme of Birdlife International, implemented by the former Cameroon Ornithological Club (COC), now known as the Cameroon Biodiversity Conservation Society (CBCS). This team entered the park from Mbakaou village at Miyéré waterfalls (6°12´N, 12°45´E), and followed the Djerem River south across forestsavanna mosaic and eventually into the lowland rainforest area towards the south of the park. A number of eastward and westward transects were made to cover areas distant from the river. The second team consisted of RF and MFN. This team surveyed two areas: the southwest and the northwest of the Park, for 12 and seven days respectively, in March 2000. Both surveys started at the western border of the park, respectively at 5°46´N (Ngum village) and 5°57´N (Sengbe village) going eastwards and southeastwards to about the centre of the Park (Maisels et al. 2000), and used a combination of observations whilst walking, song identification, and early morning mist-netting.

All bird species recorded by sight and sound were logged daily. We used the colour plates from Borrow & Demey (2001), kindly made available by the authors before publication. Many species were tape-recorded, especially those unsupported by visual identification, and tapes were later compared with Chappuis (2000). A few species were also filmed. Mist-netting was done by the WCS team, generally between 6h00 and 9h00.

Assessment of abundance follows Morel & Tye (1995): A = Abundant (11–100 may be seen or heard in suitable habitat per day; C = Common (1–10 may be seen or heard in suitable habitat per day); F = Frequent (often seen or heard but not every day); U = Uncommon (one or few records only). Habitats are: R = Riverine (Djerem River); LF = Lowland rainforest; GF = Gallery forest; F-S = Forest-savanna mosaic; S = Savanna; WS = Wooded savanna. Sequence and nomenclature follow Brown et al.

(1982), Urban et al. (1986), Fry et al. (1988, 2000), Keith et al. (1992), Urban et al.

(1997) and Fry & Keith (2004).

–  –  –

Phalacrocoracidae Phalacrocorax africanus Long-tailed Cormorant. C; R.

Ardeidae Nycticorax nycticorax Black-crowned Night Heron. F; R.

Ardeola ralloides Squacco Heron. F; R within F-S.

Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret. C; usually in association with small herds of domestic cattle in the north.

2006 K.S. Bobo et al. 93 Egretta intermedia Intermediate Egret. F; R.

Ardea purpurea Purple Heron. One, Djerem River, 11 Mar.

A. melanocephala Black-headed Heron. F; R.

Scopidae Scopus umbretta Hamerkop. C; R.

Ciconiidae Anastomus lamelligerus African Openbill Stork. One, Djerem River, 12 Mar.

Ciconia abdimii Abdim’s Stork. A; flocks of up to 200 recorded.

C. episcopus Woolly-necked Stork. U; R and WS.

Leptoptilos crumeniferus Marabou Stork. F; R and WS.

Threskiornithidae Bostrychia hagadash Hadada. C; R.

Bostrychia rara Spot-breasted Ibis. F; R and GF.

Anatidae Plectropterus gambensis Spur-winged Goose. One, Djerem River, 10 Mar.

Pteronetta hartlaubii Hartlaub’s Duck. One in small pool within gallery forest, 11 Mar.

Accipitridae Pandion haliaetus Osprey. One at the northern boundary of the park near Mbakaou, 20 Mar.

Macheiramphus alcinus Bat Hawk. One over the Djerem River, 13 Mar.

Milvus migrans Black Kite. A; throughout. Mainly M. m. parasitus.

Haliaeetus vocifer African Fish Eagle. F; R.

Gypohierax angolensis Palmnut Vulture. C; throughout.

Necrosyrtes monachus Hooded Vulture. U; WS and S.

Gyps africanus African White-backed Vulture. One adult at southern edge of the savanna mosaic at 5°57´N, 12°52´E, 14 Mar.

Circaetus cinereus Brown Snake Eagle. F; throughout.

Terathopius ecaudatus Bateleur. One adult over savanna, 12 Mar.

Polyboroides typus Harrier Hawk. F; throughout.

Circus aeruginosus European Marsh Harrier. F; mainly R.

Micronisus gabar Gabar Goshawk. U; S.

Accipiter tachiro African Goshawk. U; forest edge.

A. castanilius Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk. U; R and forest edge.

A. badius Shikra. U; S.

A. ovampensis Ovambo Sparrowhawk. An adult of the grey morph in flight over wooded savanna, 13 Mar, at 6°3´N, 12°50´E. This is outside the Jun–Dec period of most of the records to date for W Africa (e.g. Thiolley 1985, Barlow et al. 1997). The species possibly breeds in W Africa and may be more widespread than records suggest (Salewski 1998).

Urotriorchis macrourus Long-tailed Hawk. U; LF.

Butastur rufipennis Grasshopper Buzzard. One, WS, 11 Mar.

Kaupifalco monnogramicus Lizard Buzzard. U; LF.

94 Birds of Mbam and Djerem NP Malimbus 28 Buteo buteo Common Buzzard. One in flight over wooded savanna at 6°7´N, 12°50´E, 10 Mar. Louette (1981) rejects one 1961 record. Since then there have been three more: Mt Oku, Oct–Nov 1988 (Holyoak & Seddon 1990), Feb 1998 (F. DowsettLemaire & R.J. Dowsett pers comm.); Yoko, Mar 99 (H. Slabbekoorn pers. comm.).

B. auguralis Red-necked Buzzard. C; mainly F-S.

Aquila wahlbergi Wahlberg’s Eagle. Three sightings of adults over savanna, two dark phase and one pale phase individual.

Hieraaetus ayresii Ayres’s Hawk Eagle.. An adult over gallery forest at 6°12´N, 12°45´E, 9 Mar. Reported with increasing frequency in Cameroon, where it was unrecorded until recently (Clark 1999).

Lophaetus occipitalis Long-crested Eagle. One over gallery forest in the north of the park, 9 Mar.

Stephanoaetus coronatus Crowned Eagle. U; GF. Well known to local hunters and constantly imitated by Cossypha spp.

Falconidae Falco alopex Fox Kestrel. One, WS in central area of the park over the Djerem River.

Unusual habitat for this species which is usually associated with rock outcrops.

F. chicquera Red-necked Falcon. U; WS and S.

F. cuvierii African Hobby. U; F-S.

Phasianidae Francolinus lathami Latham’s Forest Francolin. U; LF.

F. squamatus Scaly Francolin. F; LF.

F. bicarcaratus Double-spurred Francolin. F; F-S.

Guttera pucherani Crested Guineafowl. U; LF.

Numida meleagris Helmeted Guineafowl. C; in the north.

Coturnix chinensis Blue Quail. One seen along the Ngoum–Yoko road in the south.

Rallidae Sarothrura pulchra White-spotted Flufftail. F; GF.

Heliornithidae Podica senegalensis African Finfoot. U; R.

Burhinidae Burhinus senegalensis Senegal Thick-knee. F; R.

Glareola nuchalis Rock Pratincole. A; R.

Charadriidae Pluvialis squatarola Grey Plover. One seen on sandbank along the Mékié River (5°46´N, 12°41´E) late in the afternoon.

Vanellus senegallus African Wattled Lapwing. F; R.

V. albiceps White-headed Lapwing. C; on the river.

V. superciliosus Brown-chested Lapwing. F; R. A pair defending a breeding territory against European Marsh Harriers, in grassy savanna alongside the Djerem River.

Scolopacidae Tringa ochropus Green Sandpiper. U; R.

2006 K.S. Bobo et al. 95 Actitis hypoleucos Common Sandpiper. C; R.

Columbidae Treron waalia Bruce’s Green Pigeon. F; forest edge.

T. calva African Green Pigeon. A; mainly GF and LF; occasionally WS.

Turtur brehmeri Blue-headed Wood Dove. U; LF.

T. tympanistria Tambourine Dove. U; GF and LF.

T. afer Blue-spotted Wood Dove. A; WS. F; LF.

Columba unicincta Afep Pigeon. F; F-S. Five at 6°3´N, 12°50´E, 12 Mar, constitute the northernmost records in Cameroon together with those at Takamanda (Languy & Njie 2003) and Ako (pers. obs.).

Streptopelia semitorquata Red-eyed Dove. A; throughout.

S. vinacea Vinaceous Dove. A; S.

Psittacidae Psittacus erithacus Grey Parrot. F; LF.

Poicephalus gulielmi Red-fronted Parrot. U; LF.

Agapornis pullarius Red-headed Lovebird. F; WS.

Musophagidae Corythaeola cristata Great Blue Turaco. C; LF and adjacent GF. Not in GF in the north.

Tauraco persa Green Turaco. F; GF.

T. leucolophus White-crested Turaco. U; heard in evenings north of the park, in a gallery forest at 5°59´N, 12°39´E.

Cuculidae Oxylophus levaillantii Levaillant’s Cuckoo. One seen near Mékié River crossing a burnt savanna.

Cuculus solitarius Red-chested Cuckoo. U; F-S.

C. clamosus Black Cuckoo C; throughout.

C. canorus European Cuckoo. One, F-S.

C. gularis African cuckoo. U; F-S.

Cercococcyx mechowi Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo. F; LF and adjacent GF. Not in the north.

C. olivinus Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo. U; LF. Heard and netted.

Chrysococcyx cupreus Emerald Cuckoo. F;. mainly LF; rarer in GF.

C. flavigularis Yellow-throated Cuckoo. F; GF north to 6°3´N, 12°50´E. Apparently absent from LF.

C. klaas Klaas’s Cuckoo. C; throughout.

Ceuthmochares aereus Yellowbill. C; GF and LF.

Centropus senegalensis Senegal Coucal. F; S.

C. monachus Blue-headed Coucal. F; GF.

Strigidae Otus senegalensis African Scops Owl. One heard at Mangare 2 (5°47´N, 12°36´E) and another along the Ngoum–Yoko road.

96 Birds of Mbam and Djerem NP Malimbus 28 Bubo africanus Spotted Eagle Owl. Heard once at night in GF in the north of the park (5°57´N, 12°36´E).

Glaucidium tephronotum Red-chested Owlet. One heard at night in GF in the north of the park (5°57´N, 12°36´E).

Strix woodfordii African Wood Owl. F; GF and LF.

[Scotopelia bouvieri Vermiculated Fishing Owl. Although we did not record this species, local fishermen recognised the call from tape. They stated that birds stopped calling with the onset of the rains, which could account for our lack of records.] Caprimulgidae Caprimulgus climacurus Long-tailed Nightjar. F; S.

C. nigriscapularis Black-shouldered Nightjar. One singing in S in the north of the park, 19 Mar.

C. inornatus Plain Nightjar. A female, WS, 12 Mar.

C. tristigma Freckled Nightjar. One heard and one seen along the Ngoum-Yoko road, 21 Mar.

C. europaeus European Nightjar. One heard, in S in the north of the park., 19 Mar.

Macrodipteryx longipennis Standard-winged Nightjar. A male, WS, 19 Mar.

M. vexillarius Pennant-winged Nightjar. F; in shrubs along the Ngoum–Yoko road and along the Mékié River.

Apodidae Rhaphidura sabini Sabine’s Spinetail. F; LF and GF north to 6°8´N, 12°50´E.

Telocanthura ussheri Mottled Spinetail. U; flying over the Mékié River.

Neafrapus cassini Cassins Spinetail. F; LF and GF.

Cypsiurus parvus African Palm Swift. A; F-S.

Apus apus European Swift. C; in the north.

A. affinis Little Swift. C;. in the north.

Tachymarptis melba Alpine swift. One sighting of two individuals at Mangaré 1 (5°46´N, 12°33´E) in the south.

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