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Location Ethiopia, Oromiya
Central coordinates 38o 52.00' East  4o 47.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 20,813 ha
Altitude 1,500 - 1,740m
Year of IBA assessment 1996

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society



Site description The site is located around Arero town in the centre of Borena Zone. Arero is about halfway along the track from Negele to Yabello, and 660 km from Addis Ababa. The topography of the area is undulating, with some hills and gorges. Arero forest is the most southerly of the high forests of Ethiopia and is one of the few places in Borena Zone where there are well-grown trees of Juniperus procera. Podocarpus oracilior and J. procera are the largest trees and are found with broadleaved species, e.g. Prunus africana, Teclea nobilis, Croton macrostachyus, Olea capensis, Acacia and figs. This forest also contains several species of small tree characteristic of the Somali–Masai vegetation of Somalia, eastern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Examples are Fagaropsis hildebrandtii and the yellow-flowered Ochna insculpta. In Ethiopia, Ochna insculpta is only known from the Arero forest. Several tall grasses (Andropogon sp., Hyparrhenia spp. and Cymbopogon spp.) grow in the periphery of the forest and in woodland. In 1992 this area comprised 5,437 ha of closed-canopy forest, 2,389 ha of medium-density forest and 2,823 ha of open forest.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Arero forest was previously the most important known site for Tauraco ruspolii (and possibly represents the type-locality), although the species has now been found at Negele, Wadera, Genale and Kibre Mengist. Although forest at this site is being lost, the area still supports a small population, the southernmost in the species’ range, and is believed to be more or less contiguous with that of the Anferera forests (site ET058); together these encompass the species’ full range. Another important bird found at the site is Serinus xantholaema, which although uncommon has recently been found breeding at Arero, the first breeding record for Ethiopia. A recent survey recorded 168 species at the site, of which 43 were Somali–Masai biome species including Turdus tephronotus, Cisticola bodessa, Sylvia boehmi, Cisticola nanus, Batis perkeo, Turdoides aylmeri, Parus thruppi, Dryoscopus pringlii, Onychognathus salvadorii, Lamprotornis shelleyi, Pseudonigrita cabanisi and Serinus donaldsoni.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Trachyphonus darnaudii resident  1996  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-and-yellow Barbet Trachyphonus erythrocephalus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-necked Francolin Pternistis leucoscepus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Chanting-goshawk Melierax poliopterus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-bellied Parrot Poicephalus rufiventris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ruspoli's Turaco Tauraco ruspolii resident  1996  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
White-bellied Go-away-bird Criniferoides leucogaster resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Donaldson-Smith's Nightjar Caprimulgus donaldsoni resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus somaliensis resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus minor resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus flavirostris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Von der Decken's Hornbill Tockus deckeni resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hemprich's Hornbill Lophoceros hemprichii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pygmy Batis Batis perkeo resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rosy-patched Bush-shrike Rhodophoneus cruentus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Three-streaked Tchagra Tchagra jamesi resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pringle's Puffback Dryoscopus pringlii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Somali Tit Parus thruppi resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mouse-coloured Penduline-tit Anthoscopus musculus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Short-toed Lark Calandrella somalica resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Boran Cisticola Cisticola bodessa resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tiny Cisticola Cisticola nanus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pale Prinia Prinia somalica resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Wren-warbler Camaroptera simplex resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Short-billed Crombec Sylvietta philippae resident  1996  present  A3  Data Deficient 
Banded Warbler Sylvia boehmi resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scaly Chatterer Turdoides aylmeri resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Chatterer Turdoides rubiginosa resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted White-eye Zosterops abyssinicus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shelley's Starling Lamprotornis shelleyi resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Golden-breasted Starling Cosmopsarus regius resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-crowned Starling Spreo albicapillus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bristle-crowned Starling Onychognathus salvadorii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bare-eyed Thrush Turdus tephronotus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hunter's Sunbird Nectarinia hunteri resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-capped Social-weaver Pseudonigrita cabanisi resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Buffalo-weaver Dinemellia dinemelli resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Purple Grenadier Uraeginthus ianthinogaster resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Salvadori's Serin Serinus xantholaemus resident  1996  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Ethiopian Grosbeak-canary Serinus donaldsoni resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Canary Serinus dorsostriatus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Somali Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza poliopleura resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Arero National Forest Priority Area 20,813 is identical to site 20,813  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Grassland - montane  49%
Forest Montane forest - mixed; Woodland - mixed  51%

Land use

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

References Borghesio (1997a, b), Friis (1992), Moreau (1958), Torstein (1992), Wirtu and Meskel (1992), Yilma (1991).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Arero forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife