Moofanyi Inselbergs

GUITIPA012
Moofanyi Inselbergs

Country: Guinea

Administrative region: Forecariah (Prefecture)

Central co-ordinates: 7.62222 N, 8.41 W

Area: 0.5km²

Qualifying IPA Criteria

A(i)Site contains one or more globally threatened species, B(i)Site contains a high number of species within defined habitat or vegetation types, C(iii)Site contains nationally threatened or restricted habitat or vegetation types, AND/OR habitats that have severely declined in extent nationally

IPA assessment rationale

The Moofanyi inselbergs are one of the best representatives of coastal inselbergs in Guinee Maritime depicting 9 of the 10 microhabitats for West African inselbergs identified by Porembski et al (1997, 2000). The lowland forest patch on the inselberg has three globally important highly threatened species Tarenna hutchinsonii (CR), Marsdenia exellii (EN), Stylochaeton pilosus (EN), with the first two demonstrating high genetic diversity. The inselberg has populations of Raphionacme caerulea (EN), Dilophotriche occidentalis (VU) and Mesanthemum albidum (VU), and numerous near threatened species and is threatened by past and future quarrying activities.

Site description

Two granite dome inselbergs partly surrounded by mangrove. The larger inselberg (Moofanyi masculine) has a lowland forest patch on part of it, dominated by trees of Guibourtia copallifera. The larger inselberg has many microhabitats present which are best distinguished during the wet season.

Botanical significance

These are coastal inselbergs with a patch of lowland forest. The large inselberg is one of the tallest in Guinée Maritime. Both the large and small inselbergs have a population of Raphionacme caerulea (EN). The smaller inselberg, inhabited by the local community until recently, is degraded and less diverse in species and microhabitats. The inselberg lowland forest patch has large populations of Tarenna hutchinsonii (CR), Stylochaeton pilosus (EN), and Marsdenia exellii (EN). The Tarenna hutchinsonii population has the highest genetic diversity known in this species. The Marsdenia exellii population is also genetically diverse. Nine out of the ten known African inselberg microhabitats are present, including seepage areas rich in Utricularia spp, Xyris spp. and Eriocaulaceae spp., wet flush vegetation, and Afrotrilepis pilosa mats.

Habitat and geology

Coastal granite-dolerite outcrop amongst recent alluvial deposits. Both inselbergs interface with mangroves. There are several microhabitats present on the inselbergs, giving rise to different species assemblages. Flat areas and shallow depressions are dominated by grasses (e.g. Loudetiopsis tristachyoides) and sedges in the wet season with globally threatened small herbs such as Mesanthemum albidum, and Raphionacme caerulea.

Conservation issues

The inselberg was quarried in the past for building materials. More recently about half the inselberg was destroyed to facilitate port building activities by Rio Tinto/Simfer. In 2013, however the most important part of the large inselberg for plant conservation was conserved, yet there are concerns that this may be degraded or lost if Simfer passes management control to another company.
Deliberate burning of the inselberg vegetation by the local community occurred in 2018. Previously local people would not have entered the forest patch, as it was sacred, but when they acquired he site Rio Tinto/Simfer arranged to deconsecrate it. Since Simfer is not currently active at the site, there is no presence to act as a deterrent to local people accessing the forest. The current status of the inselbergs and forest patch is not clear. Simfer does not have the right to prevent community access to the area (e.g. people traversing the area to get to fields) and the local authorities are not able to provide adequate policing of the area. As a result, burning of the vegetation and illegal wood cutting have taken place. Grazing and trampling of Conservation Priority Species by cattle has also been observed.
In 2018, Sensitization of the riparian community to the protection of inselbergs took place and
Involvement of technical services (Water and Forests, Environment, OGUIDAP) and NGOs have begun to implement sustainable conservation measures.

Site assessor(s)

Charlotte Couch, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Denise Molmou, Herbier National de Guinee/ Simfer

Martin Cheek, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Salim Kouyate, Simfer

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
Raphionacme caerulea E.A.Bruce A(i) True False False False False Scarce
Tarenna hutchinsonii Bremek. A(i) True True True False False Frequent
Marsdenia exellii C.E.Norman A(i) True True True False False Frequent
Stylochaeton pilosus Bogner A(i) True True True False False Frequent
Dilophotriche occidentalis Jacq.-Fél. A(i) True False False False False Frequent
Mesanthemum albidum Lecomte A(i) False False False False False Frequent

Raphionacme caerulea E.A.Bruce

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:
Scarce

Tarenna hutchinsonii Bremek.

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:
Frequent

Marsdenia exellii C.E.Norman

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:
Frequent

Stylochaeton pilosus Bogner

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:
Frequent

Dilophotriche occidentalis Jacq.-Fél.

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:
Frequent

Mesanthemum albidum Lecomte

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:
Frequent

IPA criterion C qualifying habitats

Habitat Qualifying sub-criterion ≥ 5% of national resource ≥ 10% of national resource 1 of 5 best sites nationally Areal coverage at site
Granite Inselbergs C(iii) False False True

Granite Inselbergs

Qualifying sub-criterion:
C(iii)
≥ 5% of national resource:
False
≥ 10% of national resource:
False
Areal coverage at site:

General site habitats

General site habitat Percent coverage Importance
Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland Forest No value Minor
Rocky Areas - Rocky Areas [e.g. inland cliffs, mountain peaks] No value Major

Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland Forest

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Minor

Rocky Areas - Rocky Areas [e.g. inland cliffs, mountain peaks]

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Major

Land use types

Land use type Percent coverage Importance
Harvesting of wild resources No value Minor
Extractive industry No value Major
Agriculture (pastoral) No value Minor

Harvesting of wild resources

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Minor

Extractive industry

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Major

Agriculture (pastoral)

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Minor

Threats

Threat Severity Timing
Energy production & mining - Mining & quarrying High Past, likely to return
Agriculture & aquaculture - Livestock farming & ranching - Nomadic grazing Medium Ongoing - stable
Biological resource use - Gathering terrestrial plants - Unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) Medium Ongoing - increasing
Biological resource use - Logging & wood harvesting - Intentional use: large scale (species being assessed is the target) [harvest] Medium Ongoing - increasing

Energy production & mining - Mining & quarrying

Severity:
High
Timing:
Past, likely to return

Agriculture & aquaculture - Livestock farming & ranching - Nomadic grazing

Severity:
Medium
Timing:
Ongoing - stable

Biological resource use - Gathering terrestrial plants - Unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target)

Severity:
Medium
Timing:
Ongoing - increasing

Biological resource use - Logging & wood harvesting - Intentional use: large scale (species being assessed is the target) [harvest]

Severity:
Medium
Timing:
Ongoing - increasing

Management type

Management type Description Year started Year finished
No management plan in place No value No value

No management plan in place

Year started:
No value
Year finished:
No value

Bibliography

Couch, C., Magassouba, S., Rokni, S. & Cheek, M., 2018

Threatened plants species of Guinea-Conakry: A preliminary checklist

Peerj Preprints

IUCN, 2019

IUCN Red List

Available online

Cheek, M. & Couch, C., 2014

Plant and Microhabitat Field Guide: The Moofanyi inselberg in the Rio Tinto Port area, Guinea (Conakry). Prepared for Rio Tinto by RBG Kew.

Cheek, M., 2012

Botanical Baseline Survey for the Rio Tinto Port Area, Guinea (Conakry): A Preliminary Report of the Moofanyi Inselbergs, 5th-7th May 2012. Report for Rio Tinto/SNC-Lavalin

Cheek, M., Merklinger, F. & Pollard, B.J., 2012

Botanical Baseline Survey: Coastal inselbergs in Guinea (Conakry). Version 1.1. RBG report to Rio Tinto/SNC-Lavalin.

Porembski, S., 2000

10.1 West African Inselberg Vegetation

Ecological Studies, Vol 146, page(s) 177-211

Porembski, S., Barthlott, W, Dörrstock, S. & Biedinger, N., 1994

Vegetation of rock outcrops in Guinea: granite inselbergs, sandstone table mountains and ferricretes – remarks on species numbers and endemism.

Flora, Vol 189, page(s) 315-326

, 2001

Inselbergs: biotic diversity of isolated rock outcrops in tropical and temperate regions.

Recommended citation

Charlotte Couch, Denise Molmou, Martin Cheek, Salim Kouyate (2024) Tropical Important Plant Areas Explorer: Moofanyi Inselbergs (Guinea). https://tipas.kew.org/site/moofanyi-inselbergs/ (Accessed on 21/05/2024)