Mankubsa–Welenso forest is near the Negele–Arero track between 20 and 40 km south of Negele town, the capital of Borana Zone. Negele is over 310 km south-east of Awassa. The area is on a plateau at the western edge of the Liben plains (site ET062). The forest is dominated by Juniperus procera, which forms a relatively open canopy at 25 m. Juniperus procera dominated forests are more usually found at higher altitudes than at Mankubsa–Welenso. Other species that form a lower stratum include various Acacia spp., Olea europea cuspidata, Combretum spp., Maytenus sp., and Rhus sp. A ground-cover of tall grasses includes Hyparrhenia spp. and Cympopogon spp. The soils in this area are shallow sands and gravels, and as a consequence are easily eroded.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Tauraco ruspolii and Serinus xantholaema both occur, but are uncommon. Among Somali–Masai biome species known from the area are Calandrella somalica, Cisticola bodessa, Sylvia boehmi and Sylvietta isabellina. Other species of interest recorded from the site include Accipiter ovampensis and Nectarinia erythrocerca. In addition, one species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome has been recorded at this site; see Table 3.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Mankubsa is formally protected as a National Forest Priority Area. However, the removal of trees and crop cultivation has reduced the extent of the forest, and overgrazing hampers natural regeneration. Trees are cut for timber and fuel, both being sold in nearby Negele town. Borano–Oromo pastoralists use fire to eradicate ticks from the forest and improve grazing for their animals, further threatening the integrity of the forest.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mankubsa - Welenso forest. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 24/09/2020.