Nigeria is a country with a diverse range of natural resources, including vast areas of forest reserves. These reserves are managed by the government and are essential for the preservation of biodiversity, wildlife, and ecosystem services. The forest reserves in Nigeria provide a range of benefits to the country, including timber production, non-timber forest products, and carbon sequestration.
There are over 30 major forest reserves in Nigeria, each with unique characteristics and features. These reserves are spread across the country and are managed by the National Park Service and the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria. The reserves vary in size, ranging from a few hundred hectares to several thousand hectares. The forest reserves in Nigeria are home to a wide range of plant and animal species, including endangered and threatened species.
The forest reserves in Nigeria are divided into two categories: natural and artificial reserves. Natural reserves are those that have not been significantly altered by humans, while artificial reserves are those that have been created by humans through reforestation efforts.
There are over 900 forest reserves in Nigeria, covering a total of 10 million hectares of land. These reserves are spread across the country, with the majority located in the southern part of Nigeria. The largest forest reserve in Nigeria is the Cross River National Park, which covers an area of 4,000 square kilometers.
Forests are vital ecosystems that play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of our planet’s biodiversity. In Nigeria, the preservation of these forests is of utmost importance to sustain the environment, support wildlife, and provide valuable resources. Forest reserves serve as designated areas where the flora and fauna are protected, allowing for conservation and sustainable use. This article provides a comprehensive list of forest reserves in Nigeria and their respective locations, shedding light on the rich natural heritage of the country.
FULL LIST OF ALL FOREST RESERVES IN NIGERIA AND THEIR LOCATIONS
Forest reserves in Nigeria are established under the Nigerian Forest Act of 1958 and are managed by the relevant government agencies. These reserves are categorized into different regions based on their geographical locations. Let’s explore the forest reserves in each region of Nigeria.
|Cross River National Park||Cross River State|
|Omo Forest Reserve||Ogun State|
|Okomu National Park||Edo State|
|Gashaka Gumti National Park||Taraba State|
|Yankari National Park||Bauchi State|
|Kainji Lake National Park||Niger and Kwara State|
|Kamuku National Park||Kaduna State|
|Sambisa Game Reserve||Borno State|
|Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary||Cross River State|
|Edumanom Forest Reserve||Edo State|
YANKARI GAME RESERVE
It is located in Bauchi State, Yankari Game Reserve is renowned for its diverse wildlife, including elephants, lions, and hippos. It covers approximately 2,244 square kilometers, making it the largest wildlife park in Nigeria.
AREWA FOREST RESERVE
Arewa Forest Reserve is located in Kaduna State and covers an area of approximately 1,200 square kilometers. It is one of the largest forest reserves in Northern Nigeria and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The reserve is managed by the Kaduna State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.
GASHAKA GUMTI NATIONAL PARK
Spanning over 6,402 square kilometers across Taraba and Adamawa States, Gashaka Gumti National Park is Nigeria’s largest national park. It is known for its scenic landscapes, high biodiversity, and the protection of endangered species such as the African elephant and the African wild dog.
KAGORO HILLS FOREST RESERVE
Located in Kaduna State, Kagoro Hills Forest Reserve is a scenic forest area covering around 2,000 hectares. It is known for its unique rock formations, rich birdlife, and diverse plant species.
KAHUTA FOREST RESERVE
Kahuta Forest Reserve is situated in Katsina State and covers an area of about 500 square kilometers. It is known for its large population of elephants and other wildlife species such as baboons, antelopes, and hyenas. The reserve is managed by the Katsina State Ministry of Environment.
KAMUKU FOREST RESERVE
Kamuku Forest Reserve is located in Kaduna, Kano, and Niger States and covers an area of approximately 1,200 square kilometers. It is known for its unique rock formations and is home to a variety of wildlife species including baboons, monkeys, and antelopes. The reserve is managed by the Federal Ministry of Environment.
OMO FOREST RESERVE
Omo Forest Reserve is a natural forest reserve located in Ogun State, Nigeria. It covers an area of about 1,045 square kilometers and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The reserve is known for its rich biodiversity and is a popular destination for tourists and researchers alike.
SHASHA FOREST RESERVE
Shasha Forest Reserve is located in Oyo State, Nigeria. The reserve covers an area of about 1,250 square kilometers and is home to a variety of wildlife species. The reserve is known for its unique ecosystem and is an important conservation area in Nigeria.
OLUWA FOREST RESERVE
Oluwa Forest Reserve is located in Ondo State, Nigeria. The reserve covers an area of about 1,200 square kilometers and is home to a variety of wildlife species, including elephants, monkeys, and antelopes. The reserve is also known for its rich cultural heritage and is an important site for research and education.
OKOMU NATIONAL PARK
Located in Edo State, Okomu National Park covers an area of approximately 1,082 square kilometers. It is known for its pristine rainforest and is home to endangered species such as the forest elephant and the white-throated monkey.
OSUN-OSHOGBO SACRED GROVE
Situated in Osun State, the Osun-Oshogbo Sacred Grove is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a sacred forest spanning approximately 75 hectares and is home to various shrines, sculptures, and endangered primates.
EKURI FOREST RESERVE
Ekuri Forest Reserve is located in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. It covers an area of about 33,000 hectares and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The reserve is known for its rich biodiversity, including over 300 species of birds, 90 species of mammals, and 400 species of butterflies. It is also home to several endangered species such as the African grey parrot and the drill monkey.
MBE MOUNTAINS FOREST RESERVE
Mbe Mountains Forest Reserve is located in Cross River State, Nigeria. It covers an area of about 1,000 hectares and is known for its high biodiversity. The reserve is home to several endangered species such as the Cross River gorilla, the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee, and the drill monkey. The reserve is also known for its unique rock formations and waterfalls.
AFI RIVER FOREST RESERVE
Afi River Forest Reserve is located in Cross River State, Nigeria. It covers an area of about 1000 square kilometers and is home to several wildlife species such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and drills. The reserve is also home to the Afi Mountain Drill Ranch, which is a conservation center for drills. The ranch was established to protect the endangered drill species and to provide a safe haven for them.
EDUMANOM FOREST RESERVE
Edumanom Forest Reserve is located in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. It covers an area of about 200 square kilometers and is home to several wildlife species such as elephants, buffalos, and monkeys. The reserve is also home to several bird species, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise.
CROSS RIVER NATIONAL PARK
Covering an area of about 4,000 square kilometers across Cross River and Ebonyi States, Cross River National Park is one of the most biodiverse areas in Nigeria. It is home to the critically endangered Cross River gorilla and other rare wildlife species.
OBUDU MOUNTAIN RESORT
Situated in Cross River State, Obudu Mountain Resort offers a unique blend of wildlife, natural scenery, and recreational activities. It is nestled within the lush forests of the Obudu Plateau, providing visitors with a serene and picturesque experience.
CHALLENGES FACED BY FOREST RESERVES IN NIGERIA
While forest reserves in Nigeria play a crucial role in conservation and sustainable development, they face several challenges that threaten their existence and biodiversity.
DEFORESTATION AND ILLEGAL LOGGING
Deforestation is a significant threat to forest reserves in Nigeria. Illegal logging activities, driven by the demand for timber and other forest products, result in the loss of valuable trees and disrupt the delicate balance of ecosystems.
ENCROACHMENT AND LAND USE CHANGE
Encroachment by human settlements, agriculture, and infrastructure development poses a threat to forest reserves. Uncontrolled land use change leads to habitat fragmentation, loss of biodiversity, and increased human-wildlife conflicts.
LACK OF ADEQUATE FUNDING AND MANAGEMENT
Many forest reserves in Nigeria suffer from inadequate funding and limited resources for effective management. Insufficient staffing, infrastructure, and monitoring systems hinder the conservation efforts required to protect these reserves.
In conclusion, Nigeria boasts of an impressive number of forest reserves, each with its unique features and biodiversity. The country’s forest reserves are vital to the economy, environment, and social well-being of the people. They provide a range of benefits, including timber, non-timber forest products, carbon sequestration, water regulation, and biodiversity conservation.
The forest reserves in Nigeria are distributed across the country, with some located in the northern region, while others are in the south. The reserves vary in size, with some covering vast areas while others are relatively small.
It is essential to note that the forest reserves in Nigeria face numerous challenges, including deforestation, illegal logging, and encroachment. These challenges threaten the sustainability of the reserves and their ability to provide the benefits mentioned earlier. Therefore, there is a need for concerted efforts by the government, private sector, and civil society to ensure the sustainable management of the forest reserves in Nigeria.
Overall, the forest reserves in Nigeria are a critical natural resource that must be sustainably managed to ensure their continued provision of benefits to the country.