Mount Moroto Forest Reserve

Country/territory: Uganda

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (2001)
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Area: 48,000 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2012 favourable low medium
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Site description (2001 baseline)
Mount Moroto Forest Reserve is perched on top of the escarpment of the Eastern Rift Valley, east of Moroto town; its eastern boundaries are also those of the Ugandan border with Kenya. The upper parts of Mount Moroto are forested (totalling c.7,000 ha), but the reserve extends a considerable distance into savannas of various types, including Combretum woodlands, as well as bushland and tree/shrub-steppe.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The reserve is relatively rich in savanna birds, with a total of 220 species recorded, although the list is certainly not complete. Concerning Apalis karamojae, there is an old record from the slopes of Mount Moroto, and specimens were collected at the foot of the mountains in 1958 and in the early 1960s. However, its current status is not known. Moroto supports several species not known elsewhere in Uganda and has more in common with similar areas in north-western Kenya than with Uganda. Species such as Eupodotis gindiana, Tockus hemprichii, Mirafra poecilosterna, Tchagra jamesi, Eremomela flavicrissalis, Parus thruppi, Nectarinia hunteri, Emberiza poliopleura and Onychognathus salvadorii are not found in any other IBA or protected area in Uganda. Thirty-two species, including Tricholaema melanocephala and Nectarinia habessinica, are only known in Uganda from this north-eastern area. Four species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome occur.

Non-bird biodiversity: About 200 tree and shrub species were recorded in Mount Moroto Forest Reserve by the Forest Biodiversity Inventory Team, 22 of which had not been recorded previously from this floral region (U1). Among the 22 species of small mammal are three endemic to the Somali–Masai biome.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Mount Moroto Forest Reserve. Downloaded from on 04/03/2024.