The North Pare mountains lie 35 km south-south-east of Mount Kilimanjaro, but their geological affinities are with the Eastern Arc mountains, of which they represent the northernmost tip within Tanzania. The central plateau has been settled for many years and most of the forest is long gone, having been replaced by farms and exotic trees. The IBA is confined to seven tracts of forest, most of which are isolated from each other by extensive cultivation: Mramba Forest Reserve (3,355 ha, but less than 200 ha of forest), Minja Forest Reserve (520 ha), Kindoroko Forest Reserve (885 ha, but more forest lies outside the reserve), Kiverenge (area unknown, no bird data), Kilambeni Forest (area unknown, no bird data), Kamwala 1 (117 ha) and Kamwala 2 (293 ha).
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Compared to the larger mountain blocks to the south-east, the forest avifauna of the North Pare mountains is rather impoverished. This may be due to its smaller overall size, and relatively high human impact, its location at the extreme end of the Eastern Arc mountains or its proximity to Mount Kilimanjaro. The eruptions of the latter may have caused extensive damage to the North Pare forests; only 54 forest/forest-edge species are listed for this site. Rarer species of rich woodland/forest-edge that have been recorded include Accipiter ovampensis, Otus scops and Indicator meliphilus.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The central plateau of the North Pare mountains is extensively cultivated by smallholders. Natural vegetation has been replaced by non-native plants and the dominant tree on the plateau is now the Australian silky oak Grevillea robusta. Many illegal practices (pole-cutting, timber extraction, firewood-collection, cattle-grazing, etc.) occur within the forests and agricultural encroachment in Minja Forest Reserve was witnessed in July 1993. In drier years fire has become a major threat.