This site is important for its variety of vegetation types and is one of the few areas in Sierra Leone holding the threatened Dwarf Crocodile. The site is important for the economy and culture of the local people and is the first site to be managed as Wildlife Sanctuary in Sierra Leone. It holds 252 species bird species in a relatively small area and has an excellent ecotourism potential.
Location of Mamunta Mayosso Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary is occurs in the Kholifa and Mabang Chiefdoms, Tonkolili district, Northern Province, about 180 km east of Freetown. Located almost at the centre of the country, this sanctuary supports a wide range of vegetation types. The predominant vegetation is boliland (seasonally flooded grassland) with occasional occurrence of swamps, savanna, secondary forest and two perennial lakes. Water depths in swamps rise to 1.5 m during flooding. Mean annual rainfall ranges from 3048 to 3556 mm, Mean daily temperatures vary from 26-32 0C in the dry season, and 20-30 0C in the wet season. Relative humidity at 1500h varies between 50% and 80% annually. The area is founded on Precambrian-Bintumani granite rocks.
Field (1979) and Tye and Tye (1987) produced bird lists for the area. These surveys listed a total of 252 species of birds belonging to 51 families. These include two near threatened species – Turati’s Boubou and Rufous-winged Illadopsis. A waterfowl census conducted at the two wetlands of Dakrafi and Robierra (Thompson, 1994) gave a total of 1280 birds of 18 species and includes a large count of the White-faced Whistling Duck.
Mammals and other fauna
Eight species of primates are known to occur in this sanctuary, in addition to other big game such as bushbuck, bushpig, genets and duikers. The threatened primate species are Western Chimpazee (En) and Red Colobus monkey (Vu). Other threatened fauna are Pigmy Hippo (NT) and Dwarf Crocodile.
Access and Facilities
Mayosso is on a motorable but untarred road that runs between Magburaka (30 km to the northeast) and Yonibana (35 km to the southwest). Yonibana (Mile 91) is on the Bo – Freetown highway. A dilapidated visitors centre, which needs urgent rehabilitation is situated on the Mayosso road. The communities within the vicinity of the reserve operate a raffia produce-manufacturing group that deals in high quality raffia products like handbags, baskets, hand fans etc. Makeni, which is the headquarter town in the Northern Province is within 50 km to the north.
Information provided courtesy of the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone