|Location||Kenya, Coast Province|
|Central coordinates||40o 3.00' East 3o 18.00' South|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box for key species. Despite its small size, Gede is an important site for the globally threatened Zoothera guttata, a non-breeding visitor. As many as 110 birds may be present between March and October each year. The globally threatened and restricted-range Anthus sokokensis has also been recorded here (possibly as a visitor), though there are no recent records and the population, if still extant, must be tiny. Densities of most other birds are also low, although the listed avifauna is surprisingly diverse—42 forest-dependent species have been recorded, including 12 of Kenya’s 29 East African Coast biome species and the restricted-range Tauraco fischeri, which is resident. Gede is not listed under the biome category, since many of these species may only be occasional visitors. Gypohierax angolensis regularly nest in the tall trees within the main excavation. Regionally threatened species include Pitta angolensis, Turdoides squamulatus, and Erythrocercus holochlorus.
Site description Gede lies some 94 km north of Mombasa on the Mombasa–Malindi road. A gazetted National Monument since 1927, now managed by the National Museums of Kenya, it protects the excavated ruins of an old Arab-African town, abandoned in the seventeenth century. Over the ruins, on the shallow coral rag soil, has grown a lowland semi-deciduous forest, maintained by a rainfall of around 1,100 mm/year. The 44 ha site, surrounded by farmland, is entirely fenced, and contains around 35 ha of coastal forest, traversed by narrow paths that wind between the excavated buildings. At least 50 indigenous tree species occur, including Gyrocarpus americanus and Sterculia appendiculata. The edge of Arabuko-Sokoke forest (IBA KE007) is c.3 km away to the west.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Southern Banded Snake-eagle Circaetus fasciolatus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Fischer's Turaco Tauraco fischeri||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|African Green-tinkerbird Pogoniulus simplex||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-fronted Helmet-shrike Prionops scopifrons||unknown||1999||unknown [units unknown]||-||Least Concern|
|Four-coloured Bush-shrike Telophorus quadricolor||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Yellow Flycatcher Erythrocercus holochlorus||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Fischer's Greenbul Phyllastrephus fischeri||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Black-bellied Glossy-starling Lamprotornis corruscus||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Spotted Ground-thrush Zoothera guttata||winter||-||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Endangered|
|Plain-backed Sunbird Anthreptes reichenowi||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Mouse-coloured Sunbird Nectarinia veroxii||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Sokoke Pipit Anthus sokokensis||unknown||1999||unknown [units unknown]||-||A1||Endangered|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Gede Ruins National Monument||Other Area||44||is identical to site||44|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Lowland forest - mondom moist evgn & semi-evgn||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity The small mammal Rhynchocyon chrysopygus (EN), endemic to the northern East African coast, occurs here, formerly at high densities. The plant Phaulopsis gediensis has recently been described from this site.
Management considerations This is one of the few examples of semi-deciduous forest on coral rag—a distinctive and threatened forest type—that is formally protected in Kenya. The ruined walls and buildings, overgrown with beautiful forest trees, are extremely attractive, and Gede is a popular destination with tourists at the coast. Some 40,000 visitors came here in 1989, though there has been a slight drop-off in the 1990s. The forest is now completely surrounded by farmed land, but up until around the early 1980s there were corridors to other forest patches in the Malindi-Watamu area. Small trees and undergrowth along some trails have been extensively cleared since 1990, which has made the habitat less suitable for Zoothera guttata; however, overall numbers of this species changed little between 1983 and 1992. Local use and disturbance of the forest, formerly a problem, has been controlled by fencing. A pack of guard-dogs now roams the site at night, but unfortunately they have eaten their way through much of the population of Rhynchocyon chrysopygus. The Kipepeo project, which encourages butterfly farming among local communities around Arabuko-Sokoke forest, is based at Gede, where there are butterfly flight and display cages. A 5-ha section of degraded land to the west of the main excavations is now being restored and growing up as forest, through the Gede National Monument Forest Restoration Project (originally the Gede Koningschool Forest Project).
References Bennun (1985, 1987, 1992c), Faden and Faden (1972), Fanshawe (1994), FitzGibbon (1994), Gerhardt and Steiner (1986), Kirkman (1975), Mlingwa et al. (2000), Nicoll and Rathbun (1990), Rathbun (1978, 1979a,b), Robertson (1994), Robertson and Luke (1993), Robertson and Ngonyo (1998).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gede Ruins National Monument. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013
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