Sacred groves are small patches or islands of remaining original habitat or forests of various dimensions partially or fully protected by local religious and/or cultural agents. They are maintained through complex traditional institutions that sometimes do not require governmental involvement. In Ghana, there are estimated to be 2,000-3,200 sacred groves, about 80% of which occur in the southern half of the country. Sacred groves serve important ecological and socio-cultural functions by preserving virgin forests, being important refuge for rare and useful local biodiversity, and sources of herbs for medicinal, social and religious purposes. In this review, we present evidence that sacred groves in Ghana act as reservoirs in the conservation of some important fauna groups and/or species across a landscape matrix that is largely devoid of forest habitat. Current threats to sacred groves that need to be addressed through sustainable management approaches are also discussed. It is recommended that more research on the insect diversity and socio-economic mechanisms in sacred groves should be carried out at several locations in Ghana in order to better understand their effectiveness in biodiversity conservation. Such an approach would hopefully create public awareness on the importance of these sacred sites in mitigating loss of biodiversity in Ghana, and may prompt government and other practitioners to promote their explicit integration into the Protected Area Networks.
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