Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve
Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve is a 69 square mile national park straddling the borders of Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea; the region also extends into Liberia, but this section is unprotected and heavily exploited for minerals and wildlife. Including semi-deciduous forest, rain forest and savanna, it is called a "strict" reserve as, unlike many other national parks, tourism is forbidden. It has an extremely rich endemic flora and fauna, and more than 500 new species of fauna have been discovered, including over 200 endemic species. Of special interest is the endangered viviparous toad (Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis), which occurs only in the upper montane habitats of Mt. Nimba. Important species of mammals include the leopard, the dwarf African otter shrew, which was first discovered in 1954 on Mt. Nimba, and a population of chimpanzees whose behavior involves the use of stone tools. The actual mountain has the highest grade iron deposits in the world, being almost solid iron ore. Mining on Mount Nimba accounts for approximately 1 per cent of world production, currently set at around 900 million tons.
There has probably never been any permanent settlement on the actual mountain, however there are ten villages in the immediate vicinity of Nimba with several thousand inhabitants, mainly subsisting through agriculture. Since 1991, population pressure has been increasing following the arrival of refugees from Liberia.
Hewn stone tools and chippings have been discovered in a rock shelter at Blandé at the northern end of the mountain.
The reserve was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, under criteria 9 and 10 of the agency's selection criteria. In 1992, the Guinean government issued a decree entrusting a part of the Nature Reserve to an international mining consortium and the launching of a mining project. The reserve was placed on the list of World Heritage in Danger the same year.
- UNESCO Site entry. Accessed 16 January 2008
- IUCN Technical Review World Heritage Nomination 155 (1981)
- Matsuzawa, T. et al. "Emergence of Culture in Wild Chimpanzees: Education by Master-Apprenticeship" (2001) Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University. Accessed 16 January 2008
- Local human population Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve: Protected Areas Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Accessed 16 January 2008
- Cultural heritage Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve: Protected Areas Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Accessed 16 January 2008
- Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve UNESCO. Accessed 16 January 2008
- Selection criteria UNESCO. Accessed 16 January 2008
- Justification for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger, 1992: Report of the 16th Session of the Committee UNESCO. Accessed 16 January 2008