Mont Febé

CMNTIPA013
Mont Febé

Country: Cameroon

Administrative region: Centre (Region)

Central co-ordinates: 3.88780 N, 11.47760 E

Area: 1.55km²

Qualifying IPA Criteria

A(i)Site contains one or more globally threatened species

IPA assessment rationale

Several globally threatened species have been recorded at the site. If any of these remain then the site would potentially qualify under criterion A(i). In particular, it would certainly qualify as one of the best 5 national sites for Talbotiella breteleri (CR), as this taxon is known from less than five sites, all in the Yaoundé area.

Site description

Mount Febé is a 1000 m high inselberg located on the northwest fringes of Yaoundé and approximately 3km due west of the Presidential Palace. It is the site of a large upmarket hotel with grounds and golf course and there is little natural vegetation on the south and west slopes except towards the summit. However, there appears to be remaining forest on the steep north slopes which is partially continuous with the forested Nkolondom hill and associated topology to the north. The site here suggested also includes a strip of forest extending southwards on the eastern side.

Botanical significance

Many specimens were collected in the Yaoundé area by Zenker and Staudt as far back as the 1890s but unfortunately few of these can be located to precise areas (Cheek et al., 2011). Subsequent collecting has recorded several rare or important species from the inselbergs to the west and north of the city, including rediscovery of many of the earlier collections. At Mount Febé Pterorhachis zenkeri (VU), originally collected from "Yaundé station" in the 1890s, was recollected in the 1960s along with other threatened species, Justicia camerunensis (VU), Tricalysia atherura (VU), Diaphananthe sanfordiana (EN), Drypetes molunduana (VU) and Talbotiella breteleri (CR). The latter species is thought to be endemic to Yaoundé, having been recorded from two or three of the city's inselberg sites including Mount Febé. Agelanthus dichorus (VU) is recorded from Yaoundé along the road to Mt Febe at c.700 m (Breteler, F.J.).

Habitat and geology

The hills around Yaoundé rise from the South Cameroon Plain between the Sanaga fault and the north-thrusting Congo craton. They are formed from high grade metamorphic rocks, mainly granulites and migmatites also referred to as embrichite gneiss (Achoundog 1985), formed from sedimentary and igneous protoliths and apparently dating from around 600 mya (Nzenti, 1988; Tchouatcha et al., 2018; Ngnotue et al., 2012).
Preciptiation i in Yaoundé is 1,605 mm per annum, falling in a bimodal pattern with a small (March-June) and greater (September-November) wet season interspersed with a drier period (July-August) and a second more severe dry period between December and February when mean monthly rainfall drops below the relatively stable mean monthly temperature curve (range: 22.8–25.47 °C) on a Walter-Leith type chart (Simo et al., 2009; Bissay et al., 2010; Noumi, 2015). This is below the level of rainfall normally thought necessary to sustain evergreen tropical forest (Cheek et al., 2011), although the level maybe higher on the summits with orographic precipitation likely (Noumi, 2015; Simo et al., 2009). The original forest was probably semi-deciduous (Achoundong et al., 1985) but has been heavily degraded through timber and wood extraction and cultivation.

Conservation issues

Much of the hill has been developed into a luxury hotel and golf course and access to the summit area is apparently out of bounds for ordinary people (Explor xplore, 2020). Urban development has covered the lower flanks. Other inselberg sites in Yaoundé have been partly destroyed by quarrying. Smallscale logging and fuelwood gathering have heavily impacted other partially forested sites in the area.
Sustainable management of remaining important species could be implemented in the grounds of the hotel and golf course, enhancing the interest and aesthetic appeal of the site. Walking routes with educational signs could be developed around the hill to help promote local interest in preserving the city's biodiversity.

Ecosystem services

The site is important for leisure, recreation and (potentially) education. It may still harbour rare plant species and as one of a chain of partially forested hills in the area has an important role to play in providing habitat for other biodiversity.
Forest cover on hill sites such as these help limit the damage of soil erosion and danger of landslides to the growing urban population below.

Site assessor(s)

Bruce Murphy, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Xander van der Burgt, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Martin Cheek, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

IPA criterion A species

Species Qualifying sub-criterion ≥ 1% of global population ≥ 5% of national population 1 of 5 best sites nationally Entire global population Socio-economically important Abundance at site
Pterorhachis zenkeri Harms A(i) True True True False False
Justicia camerunensis (Heine) I.Darbysh. A(i) True True True False False
Tricalysia atherura N.Hallé A(i) True False False False False
Diaphananthe sanfordiana Szlach. & Olszewski A(i) True True True False False
Drypetes molunduana Pax & K.Hoffm. A(i) False False False False False
Talbotiella breteleri (Aubrév.) Mackinder & Wieringa A(i) True True True False False
Ixora batesii Wernham A(i), A(iii) False False True False False
Leptoderris macrothyrsa Dunn A(i) False True True False False

Pterorhachis zenkeri Harms

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

Justicia camerunensis (Heine) I.Darbysh.

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

Tricalysia atherura N.Hallé

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
False
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
False
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

Diaphananthe sanfordiana Szlach. & Olszewski

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

Drypetes molunduana Pax & K.Hoffm.

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
False
≥ 5% of national population:
False
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
False
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

Talbotiella breteleri (Aubrév.) Mackinder & Wieringa

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

Ixora batesii Wernham

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i), A(iii)
≥ 1% of global population:
False
≥ 5% of national population:
False
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

Leptoderris macrothyrsa Dunn

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
False
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

General site habitats

General site habitat Percent coverage Importance
Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland Forest No value
Artificial - Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest No value

Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland Forest

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:

Artificial - Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:

Land use types

Land use type Percent coverage Importance
Residential / urban development No value
Harvesting of wild resources No value
Tourism / Recreation No value

Residential / urban development

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:

Harvesting of wild resources

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:

Tourism / Recreation

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:

Threats

Threat Severity Timing
Agriculture & aquaculture - Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming High Ongoing - trend unknown
Residential & commercial development - Tourism & recreation areas High Ongoing - trend unknown
Residential & commercial development - Housing & urban areas High Ongoing - trend unknown
Biological resource use - Logging & wood harvesting Medium Ongoing - trend unknown

Agriculture & aquaculture - Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming

Severity:
High
Timing:
Ongoing - trend unknown

Residential & commercial development - Tourism & recreation areas

Severity:
High
Timing:
Ongoing - trend unknown

Residential & commercial development - Housing & urban areas

Severity:
High
Timing:
Ongoing - trend unknown

Biological resource use - Logging & wood harvesting

Severity:
Medium
Timing:
Ongoing - trend unknown

Bibliography

Cheek, M., Harvey, Y. & Onana, J.M., 2011

The Plants of Mefou Proposed National Park, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Bissaya, R., Ghogomu, R.T., Moundi, A., Njom, B. & N.S. Kanouo, 2014

Utilisation des données géologiques et gestion des informations multi-sources pour l’analyse de l’aléa glissement de terrain/éboulement dans le secteur Nord-Ouest de la région de Yaoundé

Afrique SCIENCE, Vol 10(3), page(s) 113 - 133

Achoundong, G., 1996

Les forêts sommitales du Cameroun: Végétation et flore des Collines de Yaoundé.

Bois et forêt des tropiques, Vol 247, page(s) 37-52

Noumi, E., 2015

Floristic structure and diversity of a tropical sub-montane evergreen forest, in the Mbam minkom massif (Western Yaoundé).

Journal of Biology and Life Science, Vol 6(1), page(s) 149-193

Simo, M., Droissart, V., Sonké, B. & Stévart, T., 2009

The Orchid Flora of the Mbam Minkom Hills (Yaoundé, Cameroon)

Belgian Journal of Botany, Vol 142(2), page(s) 111-123

Nzenti, J.P., Barbey, P., Macaudiere, J. & Soba, D., 1988

Origin and evolution of the late Precambrian high-grade Yaounde gneisses (Cameroon).

Precambambrian Research, Vol 38, page(s) 91-109

Tchouatcha, M.S., Kouske, A.P., Njiosseu, E.L.T., Ngouem, P.A., Ngnotue, T., Njinchuki, D.N. & Nzenti, J.P., 2018

Preserved Sedimentary Features in the Pan-African High-Grade Metamorphic Rocks from the Yaoundé Series (Cameroon)

Journal of Geosciences and Geomatics, Vol 6(3), page(s) 94-102

Ngnotué, T., Ganno, S., Nzenti, J.P., Schulz, B., Tchaptchet T.D. & Suh, C.E., 2012

Geochemistry and geochronology of Peraluminous High-K Granitic Leucosomes of Yaoundé Series ) Cameroon. Evidence for a Unique Pan-African Magmatism and Melting Event in North Equatorial Fold Belt.

International Journal of Geosciences, Vol 3, page(s) 525-548

Explor xplore, 2020

MONT FEBE: 1 OF THE 7 HILLS OF YAOUNDE. VLOG CAMEROUN

Available online

Recommended citation

Bruce Murphy, Xander van der Burgt, Martin Cheek (2024) Tropical Important Plant Areas Explorer: Mount Febé (Cameroon). https://tipas.kew.org/site/mont-febe/ (Accessed on 21/05/2024)