This small mountain block lies between the North Pare mountains (TZ062) and the West Usambara mountains (TZ071) in north-eastern Tanzania. The site is separated from West Usambara mountains by the Mkomazi river valley, a 20 km wide corridor of arid Acacia–Commiphora woodland. The highest point of the IBA is Shengena peak at 2,462m within Chome Forest Reserve. The whole block drains south-eastwards through the Mkomazi river and into the Pangani river. There are 11 Forest Reserves listed for the site and included in this IBA, only Chome having been well studied for birds: Gonja (71 ha), Chongweni (92 ha), Chome (14,282 ha), Kiranga Hengao (322 ha), Chambogo (5,467 ha), Kwizu (3,070 ha), Kisiwani (50 ha), Kankoma (75 ha), Koko Hill (78 ha), Maganda (28 ha) and Vumari (1,770 ha). Also included are five proposed Forest Reserves: Lambo Village (400 ha), Mkonga (520 ha), Mwala (1,602 ha), Pangani (11 ha) and Kamwnda (583 ha).
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Virtually all ornithological survey work at this site has concentrated on Chome Forest Reserve. Zosterops winifredae is endemic to the montane forests on these mountains, where it is locally abundant. The South Pares are the northern limit of the ranges of two species of the Tanzania–Malawi mountains EBA—Sheppardia sharpei and Orthotomus metopias have been recorded from around Shengena Peak (see Table 2). Phylloscopus ruficapilla is locally common in Chome and Myioparus plumbeus has been found recently at lower elevations on the eastern side of Chome.
Non-bird biodiversity: The ungulate Syncerus caffer (LR/cd) has been recorded in Kwizu.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Burning is threatening the forest-edge along the eastern boundary of Chome Forest Reserve. Logging is also a big problem at Chome. Kwizu and Chambogo Forest Reserves have been extensively degraded. There are several small-scale, environmentally friendly projects in the area aimed at mitigating the pressures on these forests. Some success is being had with stone-built terracing and SNV (the Dutch volunteer organization) have a community-based, low-impact ecotourism project.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South Pare Mountains. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 14/11/2019.