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Location Ethiopia, Oromiya
Central coordinates 38o 10.14' East  9o 5.40' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 24,000 ha
Altitude 2,300 - 3,000m
Year of IBA assessment 1996

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society



Site description Chilimo forest is in Western Shoa Zone close to Ghinchi town, Capital of Dendi District, and 90 km west of Addis Ababa. This area is at the western end of a chain of hills and ridges that stretches 200 km from north of Addis Ababa westwards up to the Ghedo Highlands. River valleys and gorges cut through the hills. Chilimo forest is one of the few remnants of dry Afro-montane forest that remain on Ethiopian Central Plateau. The vegetation throughout this area has been subject to human impact for over 2,000 years (longer than in any other East African country), and the rate of deforestation has been extremely high, with significant changes in forest cover observed even since the 1970s. The forest is montane mixed broadleaf–coniferous, although conifers predominate. The main species in the canopy are Juniperus procera, Podocarpus falcatus, Prunus africana, Olea europaea cuspidata, Apodytes dimidiata and Ficus spp. Historically, this entire upland area is thought to have been covered by Juniperus–Podocarpus forest, but most of the forest has been cleared for agriculture, and this encroachment continues. Selective cutting of trees for commercial use stopped about 1973, but illegal cutting by the local people continues. Various types of shrubland now dominate the landscape. The forest is important to local people for grazing their animals. A few shrub species dominate, such as Myrsine africana, with others like Maytenus arbutifolia and Rubus apetalus abundant indicators of forest disturbance. Small patches of plantation forests, initiated by the Forestry Department of the State in 1976, are present within the forested lands. Indigenous and exotic species are used, the main exotic species being Eucalyptus saligna, E. camaldulensis, Pinus patula and Cupressus lusitanica, with indigenous ones including Juniperus procera, Hagenia abyssinica and Podocarpus falcatus. Chilimo forest is threatened by excessive exploitation and conversion to other land-uses.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Erckel's Francolin Pternistis erckelii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Wattled Ibis Bostrychia carunculata resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Buteo oreophilus resident  1996  present  A3  Not Recognised 
White-collared Pigeon Columba albitorques resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Turtle-dove Streptopelia lugens resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-winged Lovebird Agapornis taranta resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-cheeked Turaco Tauraco leucotis resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Nyanza Swift Apus niansae resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Woodpecker Dendropicos abyssinicus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dark-headed Oriole Oriolus monacha resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Thick-billed Raven Corvus crassirostris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-backed Tit Parus leuconotus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus umbrovirens resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Hill Babbler Pseudoalcippe abyssinica resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Catbird Parophasma galinieri resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Montane White-eye Zosterops poliogastrus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sharpe's Starling Cinnyricinclus sharpii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Starling Onychognathus tenuirostris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Stuhlmann's Starling Poeoptera stuhlmanni resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Zoothera piaggiae resident  1996  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Rueppell's Robin-chat Cossypha semirufa resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Moorland Chat Cercomela sordida resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Cliff-chat Monticola semirufus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher Dioptrornis chocolatinus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tacazze Sunbird Nectarinia tacazze resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Swainson's Sparrow Passer swainsonii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Crimson-wing Cryptospiza salvadorii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Longclaw Macronyx flavicollis resident  1996  present  A3  Near Threatened 
Ethiopian Siskin Serinus nigriceps resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Citril Serinus citrinelloides resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-rumped Seedeater Serinus tristriatus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Serinus striolatus resident  1996  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Banded Barbet Lybius undatus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Chilimo-Gaji National Forest Priority Area 22,043 protected area contains site 2,400  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Montane forest - mixed  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
nature conservation and research -
water management -

Other biodiversity The endemic Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki occurs. A significant number of Afro-montane endemic tree and shrub species occur at this site, along with the Ethiopian endemics Erythrina brucei, a tree species which occurs in more open and inhabited areas, and the shrub Acanthus sennii.

References Demel (1996), Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society Survey Team (1996), FARM Africa (1996), Tadesse (1998), Tadesse et al. (1999), Tamrat (1993, 1994), Zerihun and Backäus (1991).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chilimo-Gaji forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/07/2014

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