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Bugoma Central Forest Reserve is situated on top of escarpment east of and overlooking Lake Albert on the edge of the Western Rift valley between 10071 and 10251N, 300481 and 310071E. It lies to the west of and midway along the main Kyenjojo – Hoima highway, approximately 10km South West of Hoima and 10 Km east of Lake Albert. The forest lies in Buhaguzi and Bugahya counties in the administrative district of Hoima. Most of the forested portion lies in the sub counties of Kabwoya and Kyangwali. To the South is Nkusi River forming the boundary of the reserve and the adjacent Kibale district. To the North Eastern are Bajawe and Wababya central forest reserves whose patches are continuous with Kinyara sugar plantation that reaches Budongo forest Reserve. To the West, is Kanyangwali Refugee Camp that meets the low land of the rift valley. It occupies about 40, 100 ha and has an altitudinal range of 990-1300m above sea level. The forest type is classified as medium altitude moist semi-deciduous forest with a high biodiversity (Forest Department, 1996). It occupies a gently sloping area, which drains towards Lake Albert in the west. There is only one permanent river, the Nkusi, which forms the southern boundary. The forest is isolated from other protected areas and surrounded by smallholdings and settlement. The soils are mostly deep tropical red earths often lateritic and the climate is tropical with two rainfall peaks from April to May and September to November. Annual mean temperature ranges are 16 to 180C (minimum) and 28 to 290C. The annual rainfall is between 1100 and 1350mm. The forest lies in irregular blocks intersected by large patches of Hyparrhenia, Pennisetum and Cymbopogon grasslands occupying approximately 18% of the forest area. About half of the forested portion is dominated by iron wood (Crynometra alexandri), a further 38% is mixed Forest. From the 65 forested Protected Areas surveyed for biodiversity in Uganda, Bugoma ranked eleventh in overall biodiversity value and fifteenth in terms of rarity value.
Bugoma Central Forest Reserves has a range of forest dependent and biome-restricted species and with two globally threatened species. Nahan’s Francolin and Grey Parrot are so far the only two globally threatened species found here. The surveys done in the major sites for Nahan’s Francolins in Uganda suggest that Bugoma Forest Reserve contains the highest density of the species. There are also several Guinea-Congo biome-restricted species. The population of Nahan’s Francolins on present knowledge appears crucial to the long term survival of the species (Fuller et al, 2004). Interestingly, researches have shown that the species can disperse across non forest habitat to colonize new areas. Understanding how the species responds to fragmentation is crucial given the kind of habitat change in many of the sites.
Non-bird biodiversity: In addition to birds, Bugoma Central Forest Reserve is also important for other biodiversity, which would contribute to the information for qualification to the Key Biodiversity Areas process. There are a number of tree and mammal species that are listed in IUCN Red Data Books. There are 38 species of mammals of which 4 are globally threatened and 9 species listed in IUCN red list. It has 9 species of reptiles, 20 species of amphibians of which one is an Albertine Rift endemic. Also has 257 species of trees and shrubs of which 7 are Albertine Rift endemics, 12 are globally threatened and 14 listed in IUCN red list. There are 225 species of birds with two globally threatened species (Nahan’s Francolin and Grey Parrot), 292 species of butterflies with 4 Albertine Rift species and 118 species of moths (Forest Department, 1996, Plumptre et al, 2003).
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bugoma Central Forest Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/04/2021.