Birds

African Bee Eater (Merops muelleri)

The bird list for Atewa Forest is 325 species. This includes many open country species, water birds and aerial species which may overfly the forest but are unlikely to be resident within the reserve. 154 species recorded in Atewa Forest. Eight species recorded in Atewa Forest are endemic to the Upper Guinea Forest region. These account for most of the globally threatened birds in Atewa Forest, the remaining species being Crowned Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus, Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus, Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata, Yellow-footed Honeyguide Melignomon eisentrauti, Blue-moustached Bee-eater Merops mentalis and Red-fronted Antpecker Parmoptila rubrifrons.

The threatened Nimba Flycatcher (VU) and the Lowland Akalat Sheppardia cyornithopsis occur in Atewa Forest and at no other place in Ghana. The occurrence of Nimba Flycatcher is a major reason why many eco-tourists visit Atewa Forest, making the site an indispensable part of eco-tourist itineraries. Western Wattled Cuckooshrike (VU) was not known from Atewa Forest until November 2013 when a single bird was photographed in the canopy (Figure 2). This indicates that even in a relatively well surveyed and well watched forest, important species can go undetected for many years.

One globally threatened bird – White- necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus – which was reported to occur in Atewa Forest (Dowsett-Lemaire & Dowsett 2005) is now thought to be extinct there. The White-necked Picathartes nests in rocky caves and since such caves have tended to be occupied by hunters in recent years it seems likely that they have now been extirpated from Atewa Forest.