Diani Forest

Country/territory: Kenya

IBA Criteria met: A1 (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 80 ha

Protection status:

Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2019 high unfavourable negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
This site consists of remnant deciduous coral rag forest (dominated by Combretum schumannii) along a 12-km strip of Diani Beach, near Ukunda on the south Kenya coast. The formerly continuous forest has been cleared and fragmented, so that a set of small patches, in various degrees of intactness, now remains. Kaya Ukunda (a National Monument gazetted in 1992) has been left isolated as a 20 ha fragment slightly inland from the others, behind the Two Fishes Hotel. Twenty-one hotels, among other developments, occupy the Diani strip, and a busy road runs through the centre of some of the forest patches. Kaya Diani itself, which lies between Mworoni and Leisure Lodge Hotel, is not within this IBA.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. Zoothera guttata, an intra-African migrant, was seen regularly here in the 1980s. Although there are no recent records, Diani may still be an important ‘stepping stone’ forest for this species. The current status of the other globally threatened species is similarly uncertain. At least 44 other forest-dependent species are recorded, most of them characteristic of East African coastal forests. Tauraco fischeri is also a restricted-range species. Regionally threatened species include Campethera mombassica, Phyllastrephus debilis, P. fischeri, Erythrocercus holochlorus, Stephanoaetus coronatus, Pitta angolensis, and Anthreptes neglectus.

Non-bird biodiversity: Diani was originally “one of the most diverse areas of forest along the Kenya coast with a rich coral rag flora”. The threatened mammal Rhynchocyon petersi (EN) occurs, but its current status is unknown. Diani supports an unusually high density of the primate Colobus angolensis, and is an important site for the restricted subspecies palliatus.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Diani Forest. Downloaded from on 21/10/2020.