The Comoé and Taï National Parks are two of the most important national parks in Côte d'Ivoire. These national parks make Côte d'Ivoire preserve precious fauna and flora. Furthermore, the two national parks are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Get ready to discover Côte d'Ivoire wildlife and nature.
Comoé National Park Fauna
Comoé National Park has the most biodiverse savannah in the world and forms the northern limit for many animal species, like the yellow-backed duiker and bongo. There are a total of 135 mammal species in the park. This includes 11 species of primates like the olive baboon, green monkey, lesser spot-nosed monkey, Mona monkey, black and white colobus, olive colobus, white collared mangabey and chimpanzee. A total of 17 carnivore species registered, but at least 3 species are believed to have become extinct in the park - cheetah, wild dog (since 1993) and most recently lion (no signs of lions have been found since 2008). There are also 21 species of artiodactyl present in the park including hippopotamus, bushpig, bongo, warthog, buffalo, kob, red-flanked duiker, bushbuck, waterbuck, roan antelope and oribi.
Threatened mammal species include:
- white-collared mangabey,
- ursine colobus,
- African elephant,
- giant pangolin,
- long-tailed pangolin,
- African golden cat,
- Buffon kob,
- western hartebeest,
- Defassa waterbuck,
- bay duiker,
- yellow-backed duiker, olive colobus.
There are over 500 species of birds, of which roughly 20% are inter-African migratory birds and another 5% palearctic migratory birds. Some prominent bird species include the Denham's bustard, yellow-casqued hornbill, brown-cheeked hornbill, hammerkop, black-winged stilt, various raptors, four of the six West African stork species and five vulture species. The park also contains 36 out of the 38 of the iconic bird species found in Sudo-Guinean savannas.
The Comoé river and its tributaries contain at least 60 different species of fish and allow for an unusually high diversity of amphibian species for a savannah habitat with 35 described species. There are also a total of 71 described reptile species, of which three are crocodiles: the dwarf crocodile, Nile crocodile and slender-snouted crocodile. The floodplains around the river create seasonal grasslands that are optimal feeding grounds for hippopotamus and migratory birds.
Taï National Park Fauna
The fauna is fairly typical of West African forests but very diverse, nearly 1,000 vertebrate species being found. The park contains 140 species of mammal and 47 of the 54 species of large mammal known to occur in the Guinean rain forest, including twelve regional endemics and five threatened species. The region’s isolation between two major rivers has added to its particular character.
Mammals include 11 species of primates: western red colobus, Diana monkey, Campbell's mona monkey, lesser spot-nosed monkey and greater spot-nosed monkey, black-and-white colobus, ursine colobus, green colobus, sooty mangabey, the dwarf galago and Bosman’s potto. There were more than 2,000 West African chimpanzees in the 1980s. In 1995 Marchesi et al. estimated the total number of chimpanzees in Tai to be 4,507, with perhaps 292 in N’Zo and nearby reserves. They are noted for using tools (DPN,1998). Further information on the current status of great apes within this park is available at the following link.
Also found are two bats, Buettikofer's epauletted fruit bat and Aellen's roundleaf bat, Pel's flying squirrel, giant pangolin, tree pangolin and long-tailed pangolin, Liberian mongoose, African golden cat, leopard, African forest elephant, which in 2001 numbered only about 100 individuals in the south of the park compared to some 1,800 in 1979, red river hog, giant forest hog, dwarf or pygmy hippopotamus numbered at around 500 in 1996 is one of the few viable populations remaining, water chevrotain, bongo, African forest buffalo and an exceptional variety of forest duikers including Jentink's duiker, banded or zebra duiker, Maxwell's duiker, Ogilby's duiker, black duiker, bay duiker, yellow-backed duiker and the royal antelope. Forest rodents include the rusty-bellied brush-furred rat, the Edward's swamp rat and the woodland dormouse. Also recorded in the park is Stochomys defua, which is characteristic of secondary forest.
The park lies within one of the world’s Endemic Bird Areas. At least 250 bird species have been recorded, 28 being endemic to the Guinean zone. There are 143 species typical of primary forest, including African crowned eagle, lesser kestrel, white-breasted guineafowl, rufous fishing owl, brown-cheeked hornbill, yellow-casqued hornbill, western wattled cuckooshrike, rufous-winged thrush-babbler, green-tailed bristlebill, yellow-throated olive greenbul, black-capped rufous-warbler, Nimba flycatcher, Sierra Leone prinia, Lagden's bushshrike, copper-tailed glossy-starling, white-necked rockfowl and Gola malimbe. More on birds is given in Thiollay (1985).
Reptiles and amphibians
Two crocodiles, the slender-snouted crocodile and the dwarf crocodile, and several turtles, such as Home's hinge-back tortoise, are amongst about 40 species of reptiles that live in the park. At least 56 species of amphibians are known from the park; these include a true toad Amietophrynus taiensis and a reed frog found only in 1997, both only known from Côte d'Ivoire.
Arthropods represent the largest share of biomass in tropical forests. Invertebrate species include a rare freshwater mollusc Neritina tiassalensis and many thousands of insect species including 57 dragonflies, 95 ants, 44 termites and 78 scarabeid beetles (DPN, 1998).