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Location Uganda, Mukono
Central coordinates 33o 0.00' East  0o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 30,600 ha
Altitude 1,070 - 1,340m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

NatureUganda



Site description Mabira Forest Reserve is the largest block of moist semi-deciduous forest remaining in the central region of Uganda. The reserve occupies gently undulating country, characterized by numerous flat-topped hills and wide, shallow valleys. Some of these valleys have papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) swamps. The topography is such that the land drains to the north, even though the reserve’s southern boundary lies only 13 km from the shores of Lake Victoria. Forest in the reserve covers c.29,000 ha and is considered to be secondary, in which the distinct vegetation-types are sub-climax communities, heavily influenced by humans over prolonged periods of time. The reserve is isolated from other protected areas by settled agricultural land. Commercial use began when some parts were harvested for timber in the early 1900s, and until 1988, agricultural encroachment for intensive coffee/banana plantations was badly damaging large parts of the reserve. The closeness of Mabira to Kampala, and the presence of various ecotourism facilities, make this IBA a popular site for visitors.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. The list for Mabira Forest Reserve contains almost 300 species. Many species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome are not well-represented in other protected areas in Uganda, for instance Francolinus nahani, Caprimulgus nigriscapularis, Phyllanthus atripennis, Macrosphenus concolor and Trochocercus nitens. Mabira Forest was heavily encroached in the 1970s and 1980s, which may have had adverse effects on the forest birds, particularly on the habitat specialists. Three species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome are known, but further surveys in the valley papyrus swamps could reveal more. The site also holds one species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome and four of the Afrotropical Highlands biome.

Non-bird biodiversity: Two hundred and two tree species have been recorded, including one (Diphasia angolensis) not known from elsewhere in Uganda. Five tree species from this reserve are of international conservation concern: Milicia excelsa (LR/nt), Cordia millenii, Irvingia gabonensis (LR/nt), Entandrophragma angolense(VU) and Lovoa swynnertonii (EN). The present status of the larger mammals is not known; Loxodonta africana (EN) was last recorded in the mid-1950s.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Trachyphonus purpuratus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Speckled Tinkerbird Pogoniulus scolopaceus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-throated Tinkerbird Pogoniulus subsulphureus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Barbet Buccanodon duchaillui resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hairy-breasted Barbet Tricholaema hirsuta resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Nahan's Partridge Ptilopachus nahani resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Endangered 
Forest Francolin Peliperdix lathami resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cassin's Hawk-eagle Aquila africana resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura pulchra resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Afep Pigeon Columba unicincta resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Psittacus erithacus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx mechowi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Caprimulgus nigriscapularis resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Sabine's Spinetail Rhaphidura sabini resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cassin's Spinetail Neafrapus cassini resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-throated Roller Eurystomus gularis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Dwarf-kingfisher Ispidina lecontei resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Kingfisher Corythornis leucogaster resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Forest Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus castaneiceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tockus fasciatus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Grey-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes subcylindricus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cassin's Honeybird Prodotiscus insignis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Buff-spotted Woodpecker Campethera nivosa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-eared Woodpecker Campethera caroli resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-crested Woodpecker Dendropicos xantholophus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green-breasted Pitta Pitta reichenowi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Shrike-flycatcher Megabyas flammulatus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut Wattle-eye Platysteira castanea resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Jameson's Wattle-eye Platysteira jamesoni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri resident  1998  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Grey-green Bush-shrike Telophorus bocagei resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sooty Boubou Laniarius leucorhynchus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Western Black-headed Oriole Oriolus brachyrhynchus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-headed Crested-flycatcher Trochocercus nitens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Crested-flycatcher Elminia nigromitrata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Tit Parus funereus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Apalis rufogularis resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Yellow-browed Camaroptera Camaroptera superciliaris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-green Camaroptera Camaroptera chloronota resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Greenbul Andropadus gracilis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Plain Greenbul Andropadus curvirostris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Honeyguide Greenbul Baeopogon indicator resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Leaf-love Pyrrhurus scandens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Toro Olive Greenbul Phyllastrephus hypochloris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Greenbul Phyllastrephus albigularis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Common Bristlebill Bleda syndactylus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-tailed Bulbul Criniger calurus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Nicator Nicator chloris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow Longbill Macrosphenus flavicans resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Longbill Macrosphenus concolor resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Hylia Hylia prasina resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Crombec Sylvietta virens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scaly-breasted Illadopsis Illadopsis albipectus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Illadopsis Illadopsis fulvescens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Purple-headed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureiceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-winged Starling Onychognathus fulgidus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Flycatcher-thrush Stizorhina fraseri resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Alethe diademata resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Forest Robin Stiphrornis erythrothorax resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lowland Akalat Sheppardia cyornithopsis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-shouldered Robin-chat Cossypha cyanocampter resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sooty Flycatcher Muscicapa infuscata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky-blue Flycatcher Muscicapa comitata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-throated Tit-flycatcher Myioparus griseigularis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scarlet-tufted Sunbird Anthreptes fraseri resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Sunbird Anthreptes rectirostris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Little Green Sunbird Nectarinia seimundi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird Nectarinia cyanolaema resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green-throated Sunbird Nectarinia rubescens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Superb Sunbird Nectarinia superba resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Vieillot's Black Weaver Ploceus nigerrimus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-mantled Weaver Ploceus tricolor resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Malimbe Malimbus rubricollis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita fusconotus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2012 low favourable medium
Habitat
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

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

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Very little or no conservation action taking place  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Mabira Forest Reserve 31,032 protected area contains site 30,600  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   2%
Savanna   18%
Forest   78%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
tourism/recreation -
water management -
other -
Notes: Collection of medicinal plants.

References Carswell (1986), Dranzoa (1990), Dranzoa et al. (1997, 1999), Earl (1971), Howard (1991), Sande (1996), UNEP (1988b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mabira Forest Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2014

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