|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
|Year of assessment||Threat score (pressure)||Condition score (state)||Action score (response)|
|2019||very high||very unfavourable||negligible|
|For more information about IBA monitoring please click here|
This IBA consists of often deep and broad-bottomed stream and river valleys with Lantana thickets, on the lower south-east slopes of the Aberdare mountains (IBA KE001), in the upper catchment of the Tana river. The area of the IBA cannot be precisely defined without further survey work, but it includes at least 20,000 ha in the catchments of the Ruarai, Tambaya, Thiha and Sagana rivers on either side of the Thangathi–Kanunga road near Mukurweini town. This is a zone of high agricultural potential and is intensively cultivated, the major crops including coffee, maize and arrowroot. Little natural vegetation remains in most places, apart from scattered indigenous trees such as Newtonia buchananii and Ficus thoningii. Thickets of the exotic Lantana camara occur at the edges of cultivation, in fallow farmland and unweeded coffee plantations, and in inaccessible river valleys.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. Turdoides hindei, a threatened Kenya endemic with a very restricted range, occurs at relatively high densities (4.7 birds/km of watercourse; population estimated at 380 birds in 88 groups). It is confined to the valleys, with group territories centred on patches of the exotic shrub Lantana, which the babblers depend on for shelter and nest sites. Other bird species are typical of forest edge and scrub habitats in the central Kenya highlands, but species diversity in this agricultural landscape is low.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mukurweini valleys. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/12/2020.