Ecological Report on Magombera Forest

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Executive Summary


Magombera forest is a threatened area of tropical lowland forest, long recognised for its high biodiversity value. Among Tanzania’s forests it has had a relatively high profile, due to excitement generated by early surveys and its subsequent chequered management history. The first in-depth survey of the unique flora and fauna led all management authorities to agree that the area would be annexed into the adjacent Selous Game Reserve. However, after degazettement of Forest Reserve status in 1981 it was never formally annexed, leaving it with no protected status.

The vulnerable status of Magombera forest was re-emphasised at a 2004 workshop discussing priorities for the Udzungwa Mountains and surrounding area. This followed threats of destruction for re-housing illegal squatters from adjacent agricultural land and considerable concern from the local and international conservation community, including the Honourable Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism and Head of Conservation International. From this workshop, plans were then developed to begin a new conservation project under the WWF Tanzania Programme Office.

In this report, the ecological findings of the new project are presented, along with data collected in 2003-5. Results are further supplemented with additional information from the literature.

Aim & Objectives

With increasing research in the past ten years, we now have far more reliable information on the ecology of Magombera forest in relation to other forests in Tanzania. The aim of this report is to provide impetus for the improved management and ecological monitoring of Magombera forest. There are seven main objectives:

1) To introduce methods and results of two ecological surveys;
2) To determine the ecological importance of Magombera forest;
3) To prioritise threats;
4) To assess forest health;
5) To assess the status of selected rare and indicator species;
6) To test methods for forest restoration;
7) To make recommendations for future management, village livelihoods and monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDar es Salaam
PublisherWorldwide Fund For Nature Tanzania Programme Office
Number of pages65
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

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