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Location Tanzania, Kilimanjaro
Central coordinates 37o 19.62' East  3o 3.48' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 190,000 ha
Altitude 1,250 - 5,895m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description Kilimanjaro is one of the largest isolated mountains in the world and is the highest in Africa, dominating the surrounding central plateau country. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park lies above the 2,700 m contour, which is virtually the upper altitudinal limit of forest. Montane forest occurs between 1,700 m and 2,800 m with a downward extension to 1,250 m in the south-west along the Sanya river. In the north there is an 8 km wide corridor of dry woodland linking the forest with bushland in the Longido Game Controlled Area (TZ074). In the east and south the lower slopes are densely cultivated, but in the drier west there are large estates and ranches with some remaining natural habitat. Plantations of exotic pines Pinus dominate the northern and north-western slopes.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Of relatively recent origin, the forest on Kilimanjaro holds few of the rarer species associated with the older forests of the Eastern Arc mountains. Cinnyricinclus femoralis is resident in forest on the southern and western slopes. The western slopes are important for the passage of Falco naumanni, with hundreds and possibly thousands of birds moving through, and for Circus macrourus, with several hundred birds thought to pass through. In addition, Ardeola idae is an irregular visitor to swamps and ponds at the foot of the mountain; Falco fasciinucha is known from two old sight records on the east of the mountain; Crex crex is known from four recent April/May records from the south-western foothills. Among the montane forest birds Bostrychia olivacea is notable as it has a restricted distribution and is rare wherever it occurs. Alpine species include Cercomela sordida and Nectarinia johnstoni, which are restricted to East Africa, and more widespread species such as Gypaetus barbatus and Tachymarptis melba. A range of birds more typical of coastal forest are found along the Sanya river including Telophorus quadricolor, Macrosphenus kretschmeri and Andropadus importunus. Permanent and seasonal swamps fed by the mountain provide breeding habitat for several uncommon species including Thalassornis leuconotus, Circus ranivorus, Porphyrio porphyrio and Gallinula angulata.

Non-bird biodiversity: An isolated population of elephant Loxodonta africana (EN) occurs. There are one endemic species of shrew, four endemic species and subspecies of butterfly, six endemic plants, and 12 endemic mosses and liverworts. Levels of endemism are highest in the moorland and alpine areas.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  2000  present  A1  Least Concern 
Buteo oreophilus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus passage  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Striped Flufftail Sarothrura affinis resident  2000  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Turtle-dove Streptopelia lugens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hartlaub's Turaco Tauraco hartlaubi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Caprimulgus poliocephalus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Scarce Swift Schoutedenapus myoptilus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Nyanza Swift Apus niansae resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Trogon Apaloderma vittatum resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater Merops oreobates resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hunter's Cisticola Cisticola hunteri resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Andropadus nigriceps resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Stripe-cheeked Greenbul Andropadus milanjensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bracken Warbler Bradypterus cinnamomeus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mountain Flycatcher-warbler Chloropeta similis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus umbrovirens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Hill Babbler Pseudoalcippe abyssinica resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Montane White-eye Zosterops poliogastrus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sharpe's Starling Cinnyricinclus sharpii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abbott's Starling Cinnyricinclus femoralis resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Waller's Starling Onychognathus walleri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kenrick's Starling Poeoptera kenricki resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Zoothera piaggiae resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rueppell's Robin-chat Cossypha semirufa resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Moorland Chat Cercomela sordida resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher Dioptrornis fischeri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Nectarinia mediocris resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Tacazze Sunbird Nectarinia tacazze resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bronze Sunbird Nectarinia kilimensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Golden-winged Sunbird Nectarinia reichenowi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-tufted Sunbird Nectarinia johnstoni resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-faced Crimson-wing Cryptospiza reichenovii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Crimson-wing Cryptospiza salvadorii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Swee Waxbill Estrilda melanotis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-faced Citril Serinus hypostictus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Serinus striolatus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Thick-billed Seedeater Serinus burtoni resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Oriole Finch Linurgus olivaceus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Moustached Green Tinkerbird Pogoniulus leucomystax resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2002 high favourable low
  Habitat
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Agriculture and aquaculture wood and pulp plantations (includes afforestation) - agro-industry plantations happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Forest   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Unknown  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kilimanjaro National Park 18,318,100 protected area contains site 166,100  
Kilimanjaro National Park World Heritage Site 75,353 protected area contained by site 75,575  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   9%
Shrubland   17%
Grassland   21%
Forest   51%

Land use

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

References Beck et al. (1986), Cordeiro (1993, 1994), Dowsett (1977), Greenway (1965), Lamprey (1965), Lusigi (1992), Moreau (1936, 1944), Moreau and Moreau (1939), Newmark (1991), Rundel et al. (1994), WCMC (1995), WWF/IUCN (1994–1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Kilimanjaro. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/09/2015

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