Okomu National Park

Okomu National Park is a national park in South South Nigeria. It is part of a rainforest ecosystem that is the habitat for many vulnerable species of flora and fauna with an area of 200 km² (77 sq mi).

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Okomu National Park is a 200-km² forest block within the 1,082-km² (418 sq mi) Okomu Forest Reserve in the Ovia South-West Local Government Area of Edo State. It is a remnant of the rainforest that once covered the area and it is the last habitat for many vulnerable species. Because villages have encroached on its territory, as of 2021, it is less than 1/3 of its original size.

These Nigerian lowland forests at some point formed a continuous 50- to 100-km-wide (31–62 mi) belt from the Niger River west to the Dahomey Gap in Benin.

It was created from the Okomu Forest Reserve in 1935, and used to be known as the Okomo Wildlife Santuary. A review of southwestern forests in Nigeria in 1982 recommended preservation of the park. The state government defined the sanctuary in 1986, with an area of just 66 km².

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation took over management of the sanctuary in 1987, and extended it to 114 km2 (44 sq mi) by adding a 1.6-km-wide (1 mi) buffer zone to its area. Also, the foundation assisted migrant farmers in the surrounding areas to help the villagers find alternative ways of living without encroaching on the forest.

The park has 33 species of mammals including the African buffalo and the endangered African Forest Elephant, although elephant sightings are rare. The roughly 150 species of birds that have been identified include Angolan Pitta, Grey Parrot, Wrinkled Hornbill, Fish Eagle, hawks, woodpeckers, Great Owl, Grey Hornbill, Cattle Egret, Black-casqued Hornbill, Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Sabine’s Spinetail, Cassin’s Spinetail, Black Spinetail, White-breasted Negrofinch, Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch, Pale-fronted Negrofinch and Yellow-throated Cuckoo.

Okomu Park is about 60 km (37 mi) northwest of Benin City. The drive from Lagos takes about 4 hours.

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Map of Okomu National Park

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