Fauna in Ghana
The fauna of Ghana are of great significance, as some of them have attained conservation status because of the current rate of decline in their number and distribution. This file provides information on both the endangered and unendangered species.
The fauna of the terrestrial ecosystem, though relatively impoverished, comprise a diverse array of species including several of conservation concern. Current records show that there could be as many as 221 species of amphibians and reptiles, 724 species of birds, 225 mammalian species (with 93 recorded to inhabit the savanna ecological zone). Threatened species recorded in the country include four species of marine turtles and three species of crocodiles. Bird species of conservation concern include seven threatened species, including four species endemic to the Upper Guinea forest block and seven near-threatened species.
Keystone species such as hornbills, parrots and birds of prey are well represented in the country. Of the 728 birds species confirmed to be occurring, 408 are non-passerines and 320 passerines, of which 498 are known or thought to be resident and 176 are regular seasonal migrants, including 100 from the Palaearctic. Of the total number of species occurring, 180 restricted to the Guinea-Congo Forests Biome and 37 restricted to the Sudan-Guinea Savanna biome have been recorded (Ntiamoa-Baidu et al, 2001; Ntiamoa-Baidu et al, 2000 a & b). Furthermore, eleven of the 15 endemic bird species within the Upper Guinea Forest occur in Ghana. Six of the total species are considered threatened and 12 near-threatened (BirdLife International, 2000).
The country is also important for water-birds being on the boundary of the east Atlantic Flyway and the Mediterranean Flyway (Smit and Peirsma, 1989; Ntiamoa-Baidu et al, 2001). Endemism among terrestrial fauna has been observed in three species of frogs, Hyperolius baumanni, H. fusciventris and H. syslvaticus and the lizard, Agama sylvanus found in the Bia Forest Reserve and the Atwema Range Forest Reserve.
There is high degree of butterfly endemism in Ghana where about 23 species are classified endemic or near-endemic. As with floral diversity, “hot spots” for faunal diversity may be located in the high forest areas (accounting for 83% of the total number of species recorded), where canopy stratification and micro-climatic differentiation have provided habitats and niches for specific faunal organisms.