Dzombo Hill Forest

Country/territory: Kenya

IBA criteria met: A1, A2 (1999)
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Area: 295 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2022 unfavourable high high
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Site description (2001 baseline)
Dzombo hill, like Mrima (IBA KE018), is an igneous intrusion into the Triassic sandstone of the surrounding coastal plain. The hill rises abruptly to around 470 m, with a lower summit at 400 m to the west. The rainfall is 900–1,100 mm/year, with considerable additional mist and dew on the upper slopes. Dzombo is covered by undifferentiated coastal mixed forest, wettest on the south-eastern slopes. To the north and north-west, the forest grades into drier woodland and scrub. Large trees include Combretum schumannii, Lannea welwitschii, Cola clavata, Ricinodendron heudelotii, Scorodophloeus fischeri, Tamarindus indica, Newtonia paucijuga, Sorindeia madagascariensis, Diospyros mespiliformis and Manilkara discolor. Dzombo was designated as a Forest Reserve in 1941, and Kaya Dzombo as a National Monument, within the Forest Reserve, in 1992. The forest is considered sacred by the local community, with the grave of a Digo ruler, or Kubo, near the summit.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 2 for key species. The globally threatened and restricted-range Anthus sokokensis has recently been discovered, and is presumably resident. Dzombo has a rich avifauna, with 35 forest-dependent species recorded; more are likely to be listed with further surveys. Regionally threatened species include Stephanoaetus coronatus.

Non-bird biodiversity: The threatened small mammal Rhynchocyon petersi (EN) occurs; it is restricted to a small number of East African coastal forests. Dzombo holds a number of rare plants, with 36 taxa listed as rare in Kenya, including the endemic Ziziphus robertsoniana and an undescribed species of Uvariodendron.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Dzombo Hill Forest. Downloaded from on 05/12/2023.