Minziro Forest Reserve is a groundwater-forest with extensive areas of grassland. Kere Hill, a small rock outcrop at 1,180 m, lies within the reserve and the village of Minziro at 1,330 m sits on higher ground with the Forest Reserve extending around it. To the south and east is the Kagera river while the northern boundary is formed by the international border with Uganda. North of the border the contiguous forest is known as Malabigambo Forest Reserve, one of the Sango Bay forests. Minziro is the largest forested area in north-west Tanzania and is essentially an outlier of the Guinea–Congo lowland forests. A few kilometres to the south the vegetation changes dramatically on the higher plateau country of Kagera Region. Minziro is therefore a unique habitat-type in Tanzania. The only significant tree of economic value is Podocarpus, but this has been heavily exploited and few large trees remain. A stretch of the Kagera river with stands of papyrus Cyperus papyrus is included in this site.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. During brief visits to this forest in 1984, 1987 and 1993, 23 Guinea–Congo forest species were added to the Tanzanian avifauna. At least a further 12 species are not known from any other site in Tanzania. However, all are known from adjacent forests in Uganda and some may be found in smaller forest in Kagera Region that have not yet been investigated for birds. A total of 238 species have been recorded to date from Minziro. From Corythaeola cristata and Cercococcyx mechowi through Bias flammulatus to Nectarinia superba and Parmoptila woodhousei, the variety of birdlife contrasts strikingly with that of the drier woodlands that dominate the landscape a few kilometres south of the Kagera river.
Non-bird biodiversity: The form adolfi-friederici of the primate Colobus angolensis occurs in Minziro.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Cutting of Podocarpus for timber, pole-cutting and general degradation of the forest threaten this site. Livestock-grazing is a problem, while uncontrolled and repetitive burning of grasslands during the dry season is a potential one.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Minziro Forest Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2020.