Mt Cameroon National Park (58,154 ha)
Mt. Cameroon landscape
The Mount Cameroon landscape supports forests of exceptional scientific, economic and social value, containing a variety of endemic and endangered flora and fauna species, supplying many commercial and subsistence forest products, as well as providing valuable ecosystem services, such as watershed protection.
Mount Cameroon is a biodiversity hotspot and is the most diverse ecosystem in Cameroon - the 10th most conservable places in the world (IUCN 1994). The area harbours the last near isolated and threatened population of the forest elephant in the region.
The western slope of Mount Cameroon is probably the most diverse and richest area of the mountain, and is the only area in West and Central Africa where there is an unbroken vegetation gradient from evergreen lowland rainforest at sea-level, through montane forest, to montane grassland and alpine grassland near its summit.
This link between ecosystems largely accounts for the biological diversity of the region. Six main vegetation types have been identified on the mountain: Lowland rainforest (0-800m above sea level), Submontane forest (800-1600m asl), Montane forest (1600-1800m asl), Montane scrub (1800-2400m asl), Montane grassland (2000-3000m asl) and Sub-alpine grassland (3000-4100m asl).
Mount Cameroon is also known for its high habitat diversity and exceptional ecological features. It has a wide range of habitats, including lowland evergreen rainforest, submontane forest, montane forest, grassland, and recent lava flow communities. Because of the heavy cloud cover and the consequent high humidity that envelop the forest at higher altitudes, the submontane and montane forests are also called “Cloud or Mist Forest”. The cloud forest is very rich in epiphytes and trees are intensively covered with mosses, lichen and vascular epiphytes.