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Location Tanzania, Iringa,Morogoro
Central coordinates 36o 0.00' East  8o 0.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 115,000 ha
Altitude 400 - 2,284m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description The Udzungwa mountains are the south-western block of a chain of ancient mountains stretching from south-central to north-east Tanzania and the extreme south of Kenya. Much of the upper plateau has been cleared of forest and is now degraded grassland or farmland. This site includes all of the major forest areas outside of the National Park (TZ011). The most important forest blocks for bird conservation are Udzungwa Scarp (20,220 ha), Kisinga-Rugaro (14,164 ha) and West Kilombero Forest Reserves (now c.55,000 ha, following the establishment of Udzungwa National Park). The highest peak, Luhombero at 2,576 m, is within the Udzungwa National Park. Nyumbenitu (2,284 m) is the next-highest peak in the northern highland block while Nyamerenge (at 2,284 m) dominates the high ground immediately to the east of Iringa. These two areas are separated by the Lukosi river valley which runs north to join the Ruaha. Sawala (2,072 m) is the highest point in the south of the range while Selegu (2,454 m) dominates the rather isolated forest block on Image mountain, where much timber was logged in the 1970s and 1980s and most of what is left is second-growth thickets.South-west of the Udzungwa range lie the escarpment forests of the Kipengeres and remaining patches around Njombe. To the north, the Uvidundas are virtually continuous with the Udzungwas, separated only by the steep-sided valley of the Ruaha river. The highland plateau in the Udzungwa mountains slopes gently to the west, grading through stunted miombo woodland and grassland to the dry country around Iringa which is an extension of the Somali–Masai Acacia–Commiphora bushland habitat.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The Forest Reserves of this IBA contain far higher densities of such birds as Schoutedenapus myoptilus, Modulatrix orostruthus, Alethe fuelleborni, Sheppardia sharpei, Cossypha anomala, Modulatrix stictigula, Cisticola nigriloris, Orthotomus metopias and Ploceus bertrandi than any other comparable area. There is likely to be some interchange of species such as Cossypha natalensis and Cercotrichas quadrivirgata between the forest along the foot of the Udzungwa escaprment and the coastal forests. The number of range-restricted species is highest in the eastern part of the IBA.

Non-bird biodiversity: The Udzungwa mountains contain many Eastern Arc endemics. Elephant Loxodonta africana (EN) occurs in the escarpment forests; these may be animals moving between forest habitats and the open grasslands and swamps of the Kilombero valley. The poorly known primate Galago orinus (DD) occurs, and a new species Galago zanzibaricus udzungwensis (LR/nt), was recently named from Matundu Forest Reserve, while the endemic Cercocebus galeritus sanjei (EN) occurs along the southern escarpment of the Udzungwa mountains, and Procolobus gordonorum (VU) is widespread with large populations in some forests. The ungulate Cephalophus spadix (VU) is rare, but this is an important stronghold for this species. A small isolated population of rhino Diceros bicornis (CR) in the northern Great Ruaha river basin moves up into Image Forest in the dry season.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Whyte's Barbet Stactolaema whytii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Moustached Green Tinkerbird Pogoniulus leucomystax resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Green Tinkerbird Pogoniulus simplex resident  2000  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-breasted Barbet Pogonornis melanopterus resident  2000  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Udzungwa Forest-partridge Xenoperdix udzungwensis resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Buteo oreophilus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Southern Banded Snake-eagle Circaetus fasciolatus resident  2000  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Dusky Turtle-dove Streptopelia lugens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-headed Parrot Poicephalus cryptoxanthus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bubo vosseleri resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Not Recognised 
Caprimulgus poliocephalus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Scarce Swift Schoutedenapus myoptilus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Trogon Apaloderma vittatum resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Böhm's Bee-eater Merops boehmi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pale-billed Hornbill Lophoceros pallidirostris resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Four-coloured Bush-shrike Telophorus quadricolor resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fuelleborn's Boubou Laniarius fuelleborni resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Uhehe Fiscal Lanius marwitzi resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Green-headed Oriole Oriolus chlorocephalus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Crested-flycatcher Elminia albonotata resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea breeding  2000  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Black-lored Cisticola Cisticola nigriloris resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Churring Cisticola Cisticola njombe resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Least Concern 
Tabora Cisticola Cisticola angusticauda resident  2000  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Apalis Apalis chariessa resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Chapin's Apalis Apalis chapini resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Wren-warbler Camaroptera undosa resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shelley's Greenbul Andropadus masukuensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Stripe-cheeked Greenbul Andropadus milanjensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fischer's Greenbul Phyllastrephus fischeri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Tailorbird Artisornis metopias resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Bracken Warbler Bradypterus cinnamomeus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mrs Moreau's Warbler Bathmocercus winifredae resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Mountain Flycatcher-warbler Chloropeta similis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kretschmer's Longbill Macrosphenus kretschmeri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Warbler Sylvia lugens resident  2000  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
African Hill Babbler Pseudoalcippe abyssinica resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-bellied Glossy-starling Lamprotornis corruscus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Waller's Starling Onychognathus walleri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Starling Onychognathus tenuirostris resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kenrick's Starling Poeoptera kenricki resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Orange Ground-thrush Zoothera gurneyi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-chested Alethe Alethe fuelleborni resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dapple-throat Modulatrix orostruthus resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Swynnerton's Robin Swynnertonia swynnertoni resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Spot-throat Modulatrix stictigula resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sharpe's Akalat Sheppardia sharpei resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Iringa Akalat Sheppardia lowei resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Olive-flanked Robin-chat Cossypha anomala resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Black-chat Myrmecocichla arnoti resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Rock-thrush Monticola angolensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher Dioptrornis fischeri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes neglectus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Amani Sunbird Anthreptes pallidigaster resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Banded Sunbird Anthreptes rubritorques resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Miombo Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia manoensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Moreau's Sunbird Nectarinia moreaui resident  2000  unknown  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Rufous-winged Sunbird Nectarinia rufipennis resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Shelley's Sunbird Nectarinia shelleyi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bertrand's Weaver Ploceus bertrandi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Usambara Weaver Ploceus nicolli resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Zanzibar Bishop Euplectes nigroventris resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Buff-shouldered Widowbird Euplectes psammocromius resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Red-faced Crimson-wing Cryptospiza reichenovii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lesser Seedcracker Pyrenestes minor resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Swee Waxbill Estrilda melanotis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Twinspot Indigobird Vidua codringtoni resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah Vidua obtusa resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fuelleborn's Longclaw Macronyx fuellebornii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-faced Citril Serinus hypostictus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Serinus whytii resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Not Recognised 
Kipengere Seedeater Serinus melanochrous resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Oriole Finch Linurgus olivaceus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Idewa Forest Reserve 298 protected area contained by site 3  
Ihanga Forest Reserve 3,596 protected area contained by site 36  
Image Forest Reserve 906,856 protected area contained by site 9,069  
Iyondo Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Kigogo Forest Reserve 263,658 protected area contained by site 2,637  
Kisinga-Rugaro Forest Reserve 1,786,087 protected area contained by site 17,861  
Lulanda Forest Reserve 115,900 protected area contained by site 1,159  
Matundu Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Mufindi Scarp Forest Reserve 3,942,443 protected area contained by site 39,424  
New Dabaga-Ulongambi Forest Reserve 376,600 protected area contained by site 3,766  
Nyanganje Forest Reserve 1,908,605 protected area contained by site 19,086  
Ulambangi Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Uzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve 2,072,000 protected area contained by site 20,720  
West Kilombero Scarp Forest Reserve 19,230,243 protected area overlaps with site 55,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   5%
Forest   94%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
water management -

Further web sources of information 

Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This site has been identified as an AZE due to it containing a Critically Endangered or Endangered species with a limited range.

References Burgess, Nummelin et al. (1998), Dinesen et al. (1993, 1994), Fjeldså (1999), Fjeldså and Lovett (1997), Fjeldså and Rabøl (1995), Jensen (1983), Jensen and Brøgger-Jensen (1992), Lovett and Wasser (1993), Moyer (1993), Rodgers and Homewood (1982a).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Udzungwa Mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/12/2014

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