Menagesha State Forest is in West Shewa Zone. It is on the south-western slopes of Mt Wechecha and can be reached via either the Jimma or Ambo roads. Mt Wechecha is a massive (3,385 m) extinct volcano. The mountainsides are generally steep with ravines cut by streams and rivers. The southern base of the mountain is at c.2,200 m and flanks the Becho plains. Menagesha State Forest covers 9,248 ha, and in 1990 plantation forest comprised 1,316 ha and natural forest 2,720 ha, the remainder being open farmland, grazing and bare land. The natural forest is dominated by Juniperus procera that grows to c.30 m, and forms a relatively open canopy. Olea europaea cuspidata, Allophylus abyssinicus, Maytenus spp. and Euphorbia ampliphylla form the understorey, and some Podocarpus falcatus trees are scattered throughout the forest. At higher altitudes, smaller Juniperus procera are mixed with Erica arborea, Rosa abyssinica and the endemic Jasminum stans. Two giant herbs, Lobelia gibberoa and Solanecio gigas dominate the sides of the valleys, while the striking Scadoxus multiflorus carpets the forest floor. The area all around Menagesha forest is intensively but traditionally farmed, for livestock and crops. The forest is popular with visitors.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The site holds a particularly high number of Afrotropical Highlands biome species, among which are three Ethiopian endemics, Agapornis taranta, Dendropicos abyssinicus and Parophasma galinieri. Other highland species of interest include Tauraco leucotis, Lybius undatus, Zoothera piaggiae, Pseudoalcippe abyssinica, Oriolus monacha, Cinnyricinclus sharpii and Onychognathus tenuirostris. Also of notes are Stephanoaetus coronatus (which breeds), Apaloderma narina and Poicephalus flavifrons.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Menagesha State Forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/08/2020.