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Location Tanzania, Tanga
Central coordinates 38o 41.34' East  4o 58.62' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 39,000 ha
Altitude 150 - 1,506m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description The East Usambara mountains comprise a steeply scarred plateau on which the main ridges run from north to south. At less than 130,000 ha, they are one of the smallest mountain ranges in Tanzania and are separated from the much larger West Usambara mountains (TZ071), to the north-west, by the wide Lwengera river valley, which flows south to join the Pangani river. The mountains themselves are drained by the catchment of the Sigi river, entering the Indian Ocean at Tanga. The forest of the range became fragmented some time ago, first by clearance for coffee plantations and latterly by tea plantations. Some of the better-quality lowland forest has been replaced with plantations of teak Tectonia grandis. The 19 main Forest Reserves are in the process of being reorganized into larger blocks, with the inclusion of important lowland forest that has survived on public land. The Amani Forest Nature Reserve was set up in May 1997.Although the mountains are not particularly high, since they are situated within 35 km of the coast they receive typically 2,000 mm of rain annually, spread across all months. Submontane forest exists at lower altitudes in the East Usambara than any other comparable mountain block in Tanzania. There are also areas of lowland forest in the East Usambaras. Some 12,916 ha of submontane forest and 29,497 ha of lowland forest are included in the IBA. To the north of the highland block there are extensive areas of Brachylaena woodland.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Moustached Green Tinkerbird Pogoniulus leucomystax resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Green Tinkerbird Pogoniulus simplex resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-breasted Barbet Pogonornis melanopterus 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 
Fischer's Turaco Tauraco fischeri resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Bubo vosseleri resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Not Recognised 
Sokoke Scops-owl Otus ireneae resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A2, A3  Endangered 
Caprimulgus poliocephalus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Bar-tailed Trogon Apaloderma vittatum resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mombasa Woodpecker Campethera mombassica resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pale Batis Batis soror resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-fronted Helmet-shrike Prionops scopifrons resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Four-coloured Bush-shrike Telophorus quadricolor resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia resident  2000  present  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 
Yellow Flycatcher Erythrocercus holochlorus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Mountain Greenbul Andropadus nigriceps 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 
Tiny Greenbul Phyllastrephus debilis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Long-billed Tailorbird Artisornis moreaui resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Critically Endangered 
African Tailorbird Artisornis metopias resident  2000  present  A2, 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 
Black-bellied Glossy-starling Lamprotornis corruscus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Waller's Starling Onychognathus walleri 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 
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 
East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunningi resident  2000  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Plain-backed Sunbird Anthreptes reichenowi resident  2000  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes neglectus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Amani Sunbird Anthreptes pallidigaster resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A2, A3  Endangered 
Banded Sunbird Anthreptes rubritorques resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Mouse-coloured Sunbird Nectarinia veroxii 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 
Red-faced Crimson-wing Cryptospiza reichenovii 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 
Oriole Finch Linurgus olivaceus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Amani Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Amani Nature Reserve 838,000 protected area contained by site 8,380  
Amani East Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Amani West Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Amani-Sigi Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Bamba Ridge Forest Reserve 1,142 protected area contained by site 11  
East Usambara UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 90,000 protected area contains site 42,413  
Kihuhwi Forest Reserve 486 protected area contained by site 5  
Kihuhwi Sigi Forest Reserve 91,163 protected area contained by site 912  
Kilanga Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Kwamgumi Forest Reserve 226,256 protected area contained by site 2,263  
Kwamkoro Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Kwamsambia Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Longuza Forest Reserve 153,400 protected area contained by site 1,534  
Lutinde Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Manga Forest Reserve 86,104 protected area contained by site 861  
Mnyusi Scarp Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Mtai Forest Reserve 325,019 protected area contained by site 3,250  
Nkombola Forest Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Segoma Forest Reserve 122,808 protected area contained by site 1,228  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   100%

Land use

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

Other biodiversity There are many endemic and near-endemic species in these forests. Seven plants (African violets) Saintpaulia species are endemic. About 3% of the plants in the East Usambaras are strict endemics, and 22% are near-endemics. Some 15 species of amphibia and 13 reptiles occur that are endemic to Tanzania. About 85% of the millipedes are endemic, 45% of the molluscs, and 40% of the butterflies. The mammals Cephalophus spadix (VU), Rhynchocyon petersi (EN) and Myonycteris relicta (VU) all occur.

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 et al. (1998), Burgess and Clarke (2000), Cambridge Tanzania Rainforest Project (1994), Cordeiro (1998), Evans (1997), Evans and Andersen (1993, 1997), Hakkinen and Wambura (1992), Hamilton and Bensted-Smith (1989), Hermansen et al. (1985), Howell (1993), Iversen (1991), Johansson and Katigula (1994), Johansson and Sandy (1996), Moreau (1935a, b), Mwasumbi et al. (1994), Newmark (1991), Newmark (1993), Rodgers and Homewood (1982b), Stuart et al. (1993), Tye (1993), Urban et al. (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: East Usambara Mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/09/2014

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