VEGETATION/ FAUNA SPECIES:
The Park has five distinct ecological zones ranging from Scrub and Guinea Savanna to fringing lowland rainforest, montane forest . The graduation of these ecosystems are based on both the latitudinal and altitudinal gradients of the biogeography of the Park.
The mix of these latitudinal and altitudinal gradients has resulted in the evolution of a staggering variety of habitats and niches which have allowed for a diverse assemblage of biodiversity, some endemic to thrive. Infact, the Park is an intricate mosaic of montane grasslands, savanna grasslands, wood lands, swamps, lakes, rivers, evergreen and luxuriant, montane rainforest, each supporting its unique community of plants and animals.
The fauna species inventory of this Park includes giant forest hog, leopard, yellow-backed duiker, golden cat , and eight of Nigeria’s known 23 Primates including chimpanzees in the forest ecotone .The savannas are home to buffalo, lion, elephant and wild dog , water-buck, roan-antelope, giant-eland, kob and Hartesbeest. Up in the mountains one can encounter the mountain reedbuck, black and white colobus monkey, baboon, warthog, oribi and klipspringer. Whilst the crystal-clear rivers contain hippos, crocodiles, otters, nile perch and a wide variety of other aquatic communities.
An abundance of birdlife, such as pin tailed whydah, variable sunbird, dove, horn bill, grey plantain eater, african pied wagtail, african black sunbird e.t.c. Butterflies and other insect communities, orchids , flowers and woody trees make this a naturalists paradise.
Gashaka- Gumti National Park is also reputed to be a safe haven for highly endangered migratory species of animals such as elephant, wild dog and colobus monkey, red-river hog, yellow-backed duiker, reedbuck, chimpanzee, etc.
It is an important spawning ground for a variety of fish and other aquatic species that complete their life cycle in the Benue River system. These include the Nile Perch , Lates niloticus, Tilapia, Tilapia zilli, Electric fish, etc. Indeed researchers from the UK have discovered the presence of certain species of fish of the genera Bryconaethiops and Gabiocichla hitherto unknown to science.
The Park also serves as an important watershed for Rivers Benue and Taraba.