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Bénoué Biosphere Reserve, Cameroon

The Bénoué Biosphere Reserve is located on the Bénoué River plain, at the foot of the Adomaoua plateau in northern Cameroon. Tropical woodland savannah and dry open forests are the major habitats. More than 300 bird species can be found in the area as well as several mammal species including elephant (Loxodonta africana), waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus), leopard (Panthera pardus), hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) and velvet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus).

The local population depends mostly on cotton, traditional cultivation, stock raising, hunting and fishing for its livelihood.

Designation date: 1981


Regional network:  AfriMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface: 700,408 ha

    • Core area(s): 180,000 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 520,408 ha
    • Transition zone(s): N/A

    Location: 08°17’30”N – 13°47’29”E

    Administrative Authorities

    Délégation provinciale de l'Environnement et de la Protection de la Nature du Nord
    Monsieur le Conservateur de la Réserve de la Biosphère de la Bénoué

    Tel.: +237 2272022

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Benoué Biosphere Reserve is located on the Bénoué River plain, at the foot of the Adomaoua plateau in Cameroon. The highest peak in the area is Mount Garoua with an elevation of 1,100 metres above sea level. Major ecosystems include tropical woodland savannah and dry open forests, which host wildlife associated with Sudano-Guinean vegetation. Among the most present types of flora are wild syringa (Burkea africana), Combretum glutinosum and Prosopis africana.

    The diversity of fauna at Bénoué is high with more than 300 bird species, including the turaco (Touraco leucolophus), Goliath heron (Ardea goliath) and Senegal coucal (Centropus senegalensis). Mammal species include the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) and the, western hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus major). The reserve is also home to a small population of endangered West African lion (Panthera leo senegalensis) and possibly the last example of the critically endangered western black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes).


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    The Benoué Biosphere Reserve is inhabited by a variety of ethnic groups, among which the Diis, Foulbés, Mafas, Toupouris, Gambais and Boums are the most numerous, although exact numbers are uncertain. The main economic activities of these different groups are agriculture, fishing, cotton cultivation, timber harvesting, charcoal making and various hunting activities.





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    Last updated: October 2019