conservation status and threats facing shimoni forest
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DESCRIPTIONReport by community based organization Friends of Shimoni Forest on biodiversity, conservation, threats and ongoing projects in Shimoni forest. Submitted to Kenya Wildlife Service and all relevant local authorities.
CONSERVATION STATUS AND THREATS FACING SHIMONI FOREST April 2010
CONTENTS 1. Introduction 2. Ecological Importance of Shimoni Forests (East and West) 2.1 Flagship species 2.2 Forest Biodiversity 2.2.1 Plants 2.2.2 Mammals 126.96.36.199 Angolan black and white Colobus 188.8.131.52 African Golden Cat 184.108.40.206 Zanj Elephant Shrew 2.2.3 Insects 2.2.4 Birds 2.2.5 Reptiles 3 Socio-Economic Importance of Shimoni Forests (East and West) 3.1 Fishing Materials 3.2 Construction Materials 3.3 Fuel 3.4 Medicinal Uses 3.5 Kaya Shrines and Cultural Heritage 4 Threats to Shimoni Forests 4.1 Charcoal Burning 4.2 Illegal Logging and Timber Extraction 4.3 Encroachment from Agriculture 4.4 Development of Coastal Plots 4.5 Fragmentation of the Forest Areas 4.6 Unsustainable Resource Use 4.7 Poaching 5 Impacts and Consequences of Continued Forest Destruction 5.1 Soil Erosion 5.2 Poor Drainage 5.3 Loss of the Kayas 5.4 Loss of Natural Resources 5.5 Loss of Biodiversity 5.6 Environmental Disruption 6 Actions So Far 6.1 Reports and Petitions 6.2 Tourist Trail 6.3 Friends of Shimoni Forest Scholarship Fund 6.4 Tree Nurseries and Reforestation 6.5 Alternative Charcoal
7 Recommendations and Requirements 7.1 Gazetting / Protection of Shimoni Forests 7.2 Community Management 7.3 Assistance in Continued Conservation and Community Initiatives 8 Contacts 9 Bibliography 10 Appendices
1. Introduction The lowland coastal forests of the Shimoni peninsula and Wasini Island form a thin strip of coral rag forest, officially labelled Northern Zanzibar-Inhambane (Z-I) Lowland Coastal Forest, also known as the Coastal Forest Mosaic due to the high number of small fragmented forest patches it contains. It is a small yet vital part of the East African Coastal Forests Ecoregion.
The Eastern Africa Coastal Forests Ecoregion (EACFE) extends from Somalia in the north to Mozambique in the south. This ecoregion is one of the smallest of the 25 Global Biodiversity Hotspots recognised by Conservation International, and ranks first among the 25 hotspots in the density of endemic plant and vertebrate animal species. By definition, a hotspot has already lost at least 70% of its original natural vegetation. The Coastal Forest Mosaic is considered as the hotspot most likely to suffer the most plant and vertebrate extinction for a given loss of habitat and as one of 11 hyperhot priorities for conservation investment (Brooks et al., 2000). Due to its limited area, the density of endemic species in the EACFE is among the highest in the world.
The specialised flora that is found in these habitats supports and sustains rare and endemic species which are of particular interest to biological conservation. Additionally, the indigenous forest provides a vital natural resource to surrounding communities and has the potential to support alternative sustainable livelihoods through responsible tourism. This forest zone is formed on ancient coral reef exposed by falling sea levels, leaving limestone rock covered by relatively shallow soils and in turn favours shallow roots systems of trees reducing stability. This renders these forest habitats highly susceptible to erosion processes exacerbating the risk posed by deforestation in the wider Shimoni area. Increased sedimentation from soil erosion, in conjunction with diminishing mangrove forests poses a significant risk to adjacent marine ecosystems such as coral reefs and marine species that utilise these habitats.
2. Ecological Importance of Shimoni Forests (east and west)
2.1 Flagship Species
Shimoni Forests are listed as #129 in a list of 160 Key Biodiversity Areas for the EACFE hotspot, and are known to host one bird species listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List: the Spotted ground thrush (Zoothera guttata fischeri) and at least 2 species listed as Vulnerable: a mammal, Hildegardes Tomb Bat (Taphozous hildegardeae) and a plant, Coffea pseudozanguebariae. Furthermore there are 6 species listed as nearthreatened or threatened that are present in Shimonis forests: the Southern banded snake-eagle (Ciraetus fasciolatus), Fischers turaco (Tauraco f. fischeri), Plain-backed sunbird (Anthreptes reichenowi), Uluguru violet-backed sunbird (Anthreptes neglectus), Zanj elephant shrew (Rhynchocyon petersi) and the African golden cat (Felis aurata). Within Shimonis forests there is also an array of unlisted yet threatened species which are of great conservation and scientific interest, and could serve as flagship species. Primarily an East African subspecies of the Angolan black and white colobus (Collobus angolensis palliatus)
2.2 Forest Biodiversity Due to the fragmentation of forest patches within the Coastal Forest Mosaic, the distribution of endemic species within this area merits special consideration. Firstly, there are many disjunct distributions, particularly among the birds and the plants. Secondly, there is a huge turnover of species between patches, especially in the less mobile species. Forests that are only 100km apart can differ in 70% of their millipedes (Hoffman, 2000) and in 80% of their plants (Clarke et al. 2000).
Figure 2-1 Recording Sites and Vegetation Zones Shimoni (Luke, 1999)
The species outcomes are based on the 2002 IUCN Red List (Table 2-1.), and 2009 IUCN Red List or Coastal Forest Survey (CFS; Robetson & Luke, 1993) (Table 2-2.) Although sufficient for several taxonomic groups it is in need of revision for plants (CEPF, 2001). It includes some widespread plant species in this hotspot, others that are in far greater danger of extinction because their restricted ranges have not yet been assessed (Q. Luke pers. comm.). Among the 273 species recorded in Shimoni area by Luke (1999) (see Appendix I), 24 species have some form of rarity status (Table 2-1). Four were considered rare in the world, namely Barleria whytei, Indigofera tanganyikensis var paucijuga, Manilkara sp aff discolor and Queenslandiella sp aff hyalina. Fourteen other species were rare in Kenya but occur elsewhere, while six others are rare on the Kenyan coast but occur elsewhere in Kenya or outside the country. From the 83 confirmed species (GVI) (see Appendix 1) and updated status reports on some of the species recorded in 1999 (Metcalfe, 2009), 2 species are considered endemic to Zanzibar-Inhambane forests and one other region, whilst 7 species are considered fully Zanzibar-Inhambane endemic. Baleria whytei is endemic to the Kenyan Coast whilst maintaning its globally rare status, and Coffea pseudozanguebariae is considered globally vulnerable. Milicia excelsa and Uvaria
lucida, are considered lower risk, near threatened and least concerned respectively. Taking into account the sample area used by GVI, some of the species that were not recorded in the more recent surveys should not be dismissed as absent, but should remain included in the total species listed as rare or endemic to the area.
Table 2-1 Rare and Endemic Tree Species found in the study area of Shimoni (Luke, 1999) Species Collectors No Rarity* Phytoge o* 3 1 2 4 3 5 4 5 4 5 1X 4 5 5 1/3 5 2 4 4? 2 5 2? 4 3
Amorphophallus maximus L&S 5839 RK Barleria whytei L&S 5829 R Chytranthus prieurianus ssp longiflorus L&S sr101 RK Clerodendrum sansibarense ssp L&M sr184 RK sansibarense Cyphostemma buchananii L&M sr163 RKC Desmodium tortuosum L&M 5856B RK Dictyophleba lucida L&R Sr RK Dioscorea quartiniana var quartiniana L&M sr152 RKC Garcinia volkensii L&M sr153 RKC Hibiscus physaloides L&M sr151 RK? Indigofera tanganyikensis var L&M 5857 R paucijuga Ipomoea shupangensis L&S sr053 RK Lasiodiscus pervillei ssp pervillei L&a 5940 RK Macphersonia gracilis var hildebrandtii L&M 5846A RK Manilkara sp aff discolour L&S 5841 R? Microcoelia physophora L&M sr111 RK Momordica henriquesii L&M sr168 RK Nervilia petraea L&M sr105 RK Ochna macrocalyx L&M 5847 RK Olea woodiana L&M 5845 RK Psiadia punctulata L&R 2675 RKC Queenslandiella sp aff hyalina L&M 5850 R? Tricalysia pallens L&M 5848 RKC Vepris simplicifolia L&S sr037 RKC The phytogeographic and rarity codes are determined as follows:Phytogeography
restricted to Kenya Coastal Districts within the area of the Zanzibar-Inhambane Regional Mosaic (Z-I), ie a true Kenya coastal (moist) endemic. restricted to Kenya Coastal Districts within the area of the Somali Maasai Regional Centre of Endemism (S-M), ie a true Kenya coastal (dry) endemic. restricted to Z-I in general, ie moist K7,T3, T6, T8, Z, P and Mozambique; a true Z-I endemic restricted to S-M, ie drier K7, K1, K4 (part), Somalia (excl Z-I), Ethiopia (part); a true S-M endemic. restricted to Z-I plus one other in Africa ie Z-I and Afromontane (A-M), or S-M plus one other, ie S-M plus Sudanian; a near endemic. found in three or more phytochoria in Africa; afrotropical. found beyond Africa; palaeotropical or pantropical. show distribution of closest taxon where determination is not definite. used if plant not fully identified or there is insufficient or doubtful distribution data
4 5 (#), / ?
NB: K7, K4, T3, T6,T8, etc refer to the phytogeographic regions used in the Flora of Tropical East Africa. RarityExt? R EXTINCT? RARE in a world sense, less than 5 localities worldwide. Distribution outside CFS area known or if uncertain then R?. RARE KENYA, less than 5 localities in Kenya, but occurs elsewhere. May actually be R but data outside Kenya uncertain or unavailable. RARE KENYA COAST, less than 5 localities within CFS area but occurs elsewhere in Kenya and outside. May be RK but data outside this area are uncertain or unavailable. Note: Many taxa achieve this rating because they just enter CFS area at Kora or are under-collected