Restoring natural forest to Mount Kenya: a crucial wildlife-rich, water-catchment area.
The Mount Kenya ecosystem is a biodiversity hotspot that is globally recognised as an Important Bird & Biodiversity Area (IBA), Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) and a World Heritage Site. It is one of the few Kenyan water 'towers', harvesting rainfall for the farming communities in the lowlands. It has a rich montane bird fauna and hosts many mammals of global conservation concern. Mount Kenya is known to be one of the few east African forest habitats of the bongo Tragelaphus eurycerus, which is better known from the lowland forests of the Congo basin. It also supports important populations of elephants.
Diverse local stakeholders are mobilising resources to support the rehabilitation of degraded areas of Mount Kenya. The work undertaken by Nature Kenya (BirdLife Partner in Kenya) demonstrates best practice and provides a pilot for scaling up to the total goal.
A total of 6,200 hectares of forest land within the forest reserve needs urgent restoration. An additional 1,740 hectares of wrongly-sited plantation also need to be converted to indigenous forest.