Gola National Park
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The Gola Rainforest National Park (GRNP) was enacted by the Sierra Leone Parliament in December 2010 and amalgamates Gola North Forest Reserve, Gola East Forest Reserve and Gola West Forest Reserves, only being Sierra Leone's second national park.
The GRNP is Sierra Leones largest tract of Rainforest, and covers 71,070 hectares in the east of the country. Recent biological surveys show that the Forest is home to more than 330 species of bird, 14 of which are threatened, over 650 species of butter fly, 49 species of mammals including a population of 300+ Chimpanzees, Pygmy Hippopotamus and a much dwindled Forest Elephant population. See the Gola Forest Programme website for more information.
The GRNP is part of the Upper Guinea Forest, a Biodiversity Hotspot that stretches from Guinea to Togo.
The Forest has been commercially exploited in the past with over 20,000 hectares being logged between the 1960s and 1980s and has recently been under pressure for the exploitation or Diamonds, Gola and Iron ore and was subject to a recent report by Global Witness. However since the 1990s the forest has been the subject of a conservation project to protect the forest for the long term whilst ensuring the involvement and livelihood improvement of forest edge communities. The project is a collaboration between the Government of Sierra Leone, the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. A similar action has aso been instituted across the Liberia border in the Liberian Gola Forest Community since the two communities share similar culture and people as well as animal and plant species.
Sierra Leone Gazette Vol. CXLI. No 87 Dated 16 December 2010 'Proclamation for the Constitution of the Gola Rainforest National Park'
Coordinates: 7°30′N 10°55′W / 7.500°N 10.917°W / 7.500; -10.917
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