Jibat forest is in Nono District of Western Shoa Zone, c.200 km west of Addis Ababa. The majority of the forest is at 2,000–3,000 m, although the south-western portion extends to lower altitudes where the forest takes the form of a mosaic of small woodlands and farmland. The forest is believed to be secondary in nature, primarily due to the existence of a ruined palace found in bamboo forest near the top, which probably dates back to settlers who lived there during the fifteenth century. The forest has also been heavily exploited in more recent years for commercial timber production, although the sawmill in the forest now lies disused. Continued illegal logging and total deforestation of some areas by settlers from the north is causing significant damage and is preventing the forest from achieving its natural climax state. The two dominant tree species in this area are Juniperus procera and Podocarpus falcatus. Additionally, Hagenia and Rapanea species, characteristic of the highest-altitude forest zone, are well developed in this forest. At the forest edge, where human influence is the most pronounced, pioneer tree species such as Bersama abyssinica and Clausena anisata are common.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. At least 81 species are known to occur in Jibat forest and surrounding areas. This total includes Rougetius rougetii and significant numbers of biome-restricted species. Species of particular interest include Buteo oreophilus, Poicephalus flavifrons, Tauraco leucotis, Lybius undatus, Dendropicos abyssinicus and Parophasma galinieri.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Jibat forest is considered one of the National Forest Priority Areas. The remnant forest should be protected to ensure the integrity of the watershed. However, Jibat is one of the most highly exploited forests in the Central highlands. It was the main source of timber for the sawmill in Ambo town, the zonal capital, and still suffers a high level of illegal cutting (for local use and timber) and conversion to other land-uses. Settlers from northern Ethiopia have clear-cut areas in the south-western part of the forest.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Jibat forest. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 16/01/2022.