Mugo highlands

Country/territory: Ethiopia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (1996)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 16,000 ha

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
1996 very high very unfavourable negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The Mugo highlands are 35 km north of Hosana town in Gurage Zone. The zonal capital is Wolkite. The highland area runs north–south, forming part of the western edge to the Great Rift Valley, and the watershed between the Great Rift Valley Lakes region to the east and the Omo river basin to the west. The highlands are characterized by steep slopes and deep gorges (200–400 m deep, cut by streams and rivers) rising from 2,400 m to a relatively level top which peaks at 3,100 m. A recent survey visited a deep valley that contained degraded montane woodland with shrubs of Erica arborea and Rosa abyssinica and a few trees including Hagenia abyssinica, Juniperus procera, Schefflera abyssinica, Croton macrostachyus and Ekebergia capensis. Occasional isolated large Podocarpus falcatus trees indicate that the area was previously covered with mixed montane forest. The most widely planted exotic throughout the area is currently Eucalyptus globulus. Areas outside the steep valley were covered in grasses and other herbs grazed to a short turf, or had been converted to fields for crops.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. This site supports a substantial number of Afrotropical Highlands biome species, including Macronyx flavicollis and Myrmecocichla melaena, both of which are uncommon. Four Ethiopian endemics have been recorded, namely Dendropicos abyssinicus, Macronyx flavicollis, Parophasma galinieri and Serinus nigriceps.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mugo highlands. Downloaded from on 12/08/2022.