Much of the natural vegetation of Ghana has been destroyed by land clearing for agriculture, but such trees as the giant silk cotton, African mahogany, and cedar are still prevalent in the tropical forest zone of the south. The northern two-thirds of the country is covered by savanna-a grassland with scattered trees. Animal life has also been depleted, especially in the south, but it remains relatively diverse and includes leopard, hyena, buffalo, elephant, wildhog, antelope, and monkey. Many species of reptiles are found, including the cobra, python, puff adder, and horned adder.
Southern Ghana contains evergreen and semideciduous forests, consisting of tall silk cottons, kolas, and valuable West African hardwoods such as mahogany, odum, and ebony. The northern two-thirds of the country is covered by savanna (a tropical grassland with a scattering of shrubs and trees), featuring shea trees, acacias, and baobabs. The oil palm is found throughout the south and the Ashanti uplands, and the lagoons of the coast contain mangroves. Once plentiful throughout the savanna, large mammals such as elephants and lions are now rare and largely confined to nature reserves. The forest regions are habitats for monkeys, snakes, and antelopes, and some of the major rivers contain crocodiles. There are more than 725 bird species in Ghana.