|Country||Tanzania, United Republic of|
|Categories||Birds, Forests, Habitats|
|Date||29 Apr 2019|
Ruvu-south coastal forest reserve supports eastern arc and coastal forest endemic vertebrates and important bird’s area hosting rare and threatened forest bird species, reptiles, amphibians and plant species endemic to the Swahili Regional Centre of Endemism. The reserve is a fragile ecosystem hosting various endangered and threatened species including globally endangered bird Anthus sokokensis commonly known as the Sokoke Pipit bird as well as recently discovered critically endangered member of montane clade amphibian spiny-throated reed frogs Hyperolius spinigularis and Hyperolius ruvuensis.
According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Sokoke Pipit is globally endangered with a very small range, within which the total area of its forest habitat is declining. This globally endangered species is generally restricted to a near-closed canopy woodland habitat dominated by the Brachystegia tree species (Leguminoceae), where it feeds on arthropods on the ground or in the lower understory in parts of the woodland with a deep ﬂoor litter cover. Another endangered species of conservation importance in Ruvu-south coastal forest reserve is the newly discovered and narrowly distributed endangered spiny-throated reed frog species Hyperolius spinigularis and Hyperolius ruvuensis. Recent study by Lawson (2017) reported that the spiny-throated reed frog species comprise a clade of several morphologically similar species likely endemic to Ruvu South Forest Reserve in Tanzania.
The main threat to Ruvu-south coastal forest ecosystem is the degradation and reduction of suitable habitats and biodiversity. The reserve is suﬀering from continued forest damage due to encroachment, selective logging, pole cutting and intensive charcoal burning. The project will extend the survey range of the forest into middle and northern zone to assess the conditions of the forest ﬂoor which is a critical ecological habitat for the endangered species. We will collect information related to ﬂoor alterations, modiﬁcations and other threats. To enhance local communities’ conservation capacity in Ruvu-south coastal forest, we will build conservation skills for local leaders who are members of village Natural Resource Committee members from four villages surrounding the reserve.
Given current management challenges facing Ruvu-south forest reserve, collected information on ecological and threat survey will establish empirical evidence and uncover existing ecological and threat issues in order to stimulate government, sympathetic NGOs and conservation partners’ attention and priority to direct efforts and resources towards conservation of Ruvu-south forest reserve ecosystem.
Read about Dorah's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/dorah_mbogo or for more information contact: