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Location Kenya, Coast Province
Central coordinates 39o 12.00' East  4o 26.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 295 ha
Altitude 100 - 470m
Year of IBA assessment 2001


Site description Dzombo hill, like Mrima (IBA KE018), is an igneous intrusion into the Triassic sandstone of the surrounding coastal plain. The hill rises abruptly to around 470 m, with a lower summit at 400 m to the west. The rainfall is 900–1,100 mm/year, with considerable additional mist and dew on the upper slopes. Dzombo is covered by undifferentiated coastal mixed forest, wettest on the south-eastern slopes. To the north and north-west, the forest grades into drier woodland and scrub. Large trees include Combretum schumannii, Lannea welwitschii, Cola clavata, Ricinodendron heudelotii, Scorodophloeus fischeri, Tamarindus indica, Newtonia paucijuga, Sorindeia madagascariensis, Diospyros mespiliformis and Manilkara discolor. Dzombo was designated as a Forest Reserve in 1941, and Kaya Dzombo as a National Monument, within the Forest Reserve, in 1992. The forest is considered sacred by the local community, with the grave of a Digo ruler, or Kubo, near the summit.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. The globally threatened and restricted-range Anthus sokokensis has recently been discovered, and is presumably resident. Dzombo has a rich avifauna, with 35 forest-dependent species recorded; more are likely to be listed with further surveys. Regionally threatened species include Stephanoaetus coronatus.

Non-bird biodiversity: The threatened small mammal Rhynchocyon petersi (EN) occurs; it is restricted to a small number of East African coastal forests. Dzombo holds a number of rare plants, with 36 taxa listed as rare in Kenya, including the endemic Ziziphus robertsoniana and an undescribed species of Uvariodendron.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Fischer's Turaco Tauraco fischeri resident  1999  present  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Plain-backed Sunbird Anthreptes reichenowi resident  1999  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Sokoke Pipit Anthus sokokensis resident  1999  present  A1, A2  Endangered 

IBA Monitoring

2008 high near favourable medium
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - shifting agriculture happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather drought happening now whole area/population (>90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Forest   0 0 good (> 90%) moderate (70-90%) near favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Jombo Forest Reserve 887 protected area contains site 295  
Kaya Dzombo National Monument Other Area 0 protected area contained by site 295  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Lowland forest - undifferentiated  -
Shrubland Scrub - forest  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
tourism/recreation -
water management -

References Mlingwa et al. (2000), Mungai (1985), Robertson and Luke (1993), Waiyaki (1995), Waiyaki and Bennun (2000).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Dzombo Hill Forest. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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