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Reasons to protect Atewa Forest Reserve

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

Did you know that Ghana’s Atewa Forest Reserve in the Akyem Abuakwa area of the Eastern Region is home to the country’s rarest primates, birds, plants and insects?

It also the source of three important rivers: the Densu, Ayensu, and the Birim, which provide clean water to over five million people.

This is why national and international environmental campaigners are suing Ghana government over an agreed China-Ghana deal that allows the reserve to be mined for low-grade bauxite. Read more about it in AKADi issue 4.

One of the campaigning organisations – A Rocha Ghana – shared some stunning images of the flora and fauna at Atewa. Today, we are showcasing some of Atewa's most precious primates and sharing why they need our protection.

Take a look at the images and tell us if you agree.


The forest is home to a number of primates including the slow-moving tropical African primate called the Potto (Perodictius potto). This nocturnal tree dweller is found not only in Atewa but also rainforests in Sierra Leone right through to Uganda.

Potto (Perodictius potto) © Rapid Assessment Programm
Potto © Rapid Assessment Programm

The Potto has a strong grip and clings tightly to branches, but when necessary it can also move quickly through the branches with a smooth gliding gait that makes it quite inconspicuous. It feeds on fruit, small animals, and insects (especially larvae) and curls up to sleep by day in tree hollows.

White-naped Mangabey
White-naped Mangabey © A. Silwa

The White-Naped Mangabey (Cercocebus lunulatus) was known to live in the Atewa Forest historically but no modern sightings had been recorded. That was until in 2017 when a small group were photographed on a camera trap in Atewa Forest.

Other primates include the Campbell’s Monkey (Cercophithecus campbelli), and the White-Thighed Colobus (Colobus vellerosus) – a vulnerable species in the Atewa Forest.

White-Thighed Colobus © Piotr Naskrecki
A vulnerable species - Campbell’s Monkey (Cercophithecus campbelli) © Piotr Naskrecki

Find out more about A Rocha Ghana.

And if you would like to support the charity, here are three ways.

1. Send a letter to the President of Ghana - find out how to do so here.

2. A Rocha Ghana is petitioning the President of Ghana to turn Atewa into a national park. You can sign the petition here.

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