Anferara forests

Country/territory: Ethiopia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2 (1996)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 430,000 ha

Protection status:

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society

Site description
The Anferara forests are around Negele–Borena, 310 km south-east of Awassa and 470 km from Addis Ababa, in Borena Zone. This area encompasses the Anferara–Wadera forest and the adjacent Bore–Anferara forest which together represent the majority of the high-elevation forest in southern Ethiopia. These forests are on the highlands between two big river systems: the Genale to the east and the Awata (a major tributary of the Dawa river) on the west. The topography is rugged and broken, with many hills and ridges making it unsuitable for agriculture. However, the Kebre Mengist–Bogol Manyo (in the Genale river basin) road crosses the area. The forests are not uniform. In the north, towards Agere Selam and Kebre Mengist, the largest tree is Podocarpus falcatus, growing with a range of broadleaved species such as Croton macrostachyus, Hagenia abyssinica, Ilex mitis, Olea capensis, Schefflera abyssinica and Syzygium guineese afromontanum. Further south, where the rainfall is higher, Aningeria adolfi-friderici is found; this is the tallest and most important tree of these forests. The canopy below comprises Albizia gummifera and other Albizia spp., Celtis africana, Ekbergia capensis, Fagaropsis angolensis, Ocotea kenyensis, Olea capensis, Phoenix reclinata, Polyscias fulva and Prunus africana. There are also many smaller trees and shrubs making this wet forest floristically rich. Near Negele the vegetation is dry montane forest that used to be dominated by Juniperus procera, although this has nearly all been cut leaving scrub and a few trees of other species, primarily Barbeya oleoides, Catha edulis, Olea europaea cuspidata, Pistacia aethiopica, Pittosporum spp. and Schrebera alata. The forest here is very open, verging on woodland or scrub. All the forested areas are fringed with woodlands that are described under the Liben plains and Negele woodlands (site ET062).

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 2 for key species. The northern distribution of Tauraco ruspolii encompasses parts of both Anferara–Wadera forest and the adjacent Bore–Anferara forest. Together, these forests are thought to hold the majority of the species’ population. Tauraco ruspolii appears to be a forest margin and woodland species typically occurring between 1,400 and 1,850 m. Most observations were close to 1,500 m, where its preferred habitats are forest margins and woodlands as well as Juniperus. Other species of note are Serinus xantholaema (very uncommon) and Emberiza affinis.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Anferara forests. Downloaded from on 22/10/2019.