Lindi District Coastal Forests

Site description (2001 baseline):

Site location and context
Lindi District, in south-east Tanzania, includes a coastal plain, quite narrow in places, rising to a series of sandstone ridges that run parallel to the coast. Several of the coastal forests listed here are found along these east-facing ridges or on slightly raised ground east of the ridges. Further inland there are a number of deeply fissured plateaus and on these are the better stands of remaining forest. Forest is also found along some of the river valleys that drop from these plateaus.There are 18 Forest Reserves listed for Lindi District, of which only six have been surveyed ornithologically; the remainder are included in this IBA only provisionally. The reserves are Chitoa (771 ha), Kitunda (237 ha), Litipo (999 ha), Liwengula (2,983 ha), Makangala (1,271 ha), Mangrove-Lindi (1,416 ha), Matapwa (16,493 ha), Mmongo (19 ha), Mnacho (1,129 ha), Mpigamiti (30,000 ha), Mtama (1,026 ha), Nandimba (1,250 ha), Nanguile (650 ha), Ndimba (7,530 ha), Nyangamara (600 ha), Nyangedi (4540 ha), Rondo (14,630 ha) and Ruawa (2,949 ha).

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 3 for key species. Of the 18 forests included in this IBA only Chitoa, Litipo, Mtama, Ndimba, Nyangamara and Rondo have been investigated. A population of Sheppardia gunningi is known to occur and the Rondo plateau, is the breeding site for the East African population of Zoothera guttata. Oriolus chlorocephalus and Stactolaema olivacea occur on the Rondo plateau but the presence of the montane Alethe fuelleborni is surprising. Recent records of Telophorus multicolor from Rondo are further evidence of a montane forest element in this avifauna. Typical coastal forest birds such as Macrosphenus kretschmeri and Ploceus bicolor are represented by their respective southern races. There are significant breeding populations of Pitta angolensis and Erythrocercus livingstonei. Open water is at a premium within these dry forests but, where it does occur, there have been recent records of such localized birds as Gorsachius leuconotus and Podica senegalensis.

Non-bird biodiversity: Many of the forests are still seasonally utilized by populations of Loxodonta africana (EN). These coastal forests contain over 100 endemic plants as well as rare and localized populations of small mammals, amphibians and reptiles.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
During the 1950s a British timber company removed up to 9,000 cubic metres of mvule Chlorophora excelsa per annum from the natural forest of the Rondo plateau. A single mvule plantation was planted on the Rondo plateau in 1957 and is now valuable habitat for conservation as well as a resource for people. Further plantations in areas outside the Forest Reserves could be of great benefit biologically and economically. Pressure on the reserves for agricultural land is increasing. Biological surveys of the uninvestigated forest patches is a priority.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Lindi District Coastal Forests. Downloaded from on 02/12/2023.