Arabuko-Sokoke Schools and Eco-Tourism Scheme A Rocha Kenya

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Arabuko-Sokoke Forest

Coastal forests harbour a wealth of wildlife. Over 50% of Kenya's rare or threatened plants, 60% of its birds and 65% of its animals are found at the coast. Recognising the importance of coastal forests, one of the world's leading conservation organisations, World Wide Fund for Nature have made the East African coastal forests a priority in their "Global 200 Eco-Regions" Programme.

Thicket in ASFOf the East African coastal forests, Arabuko-Sokoke Forest is the largest and the most important conservation concern. It has been ranked by BirdLife International as one of the most important forests for the conservation of threatened birds on mainland Africa. BirdLife International has also designated the forest as an Important Biodiversity Area, and together with Mida Creek, forms part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Furthermore, approximately 6,000 ha of the forest is designated as a forest reserve and 600 hectares form a National Park.

Arabuko-Sokoke Forest is rich in wildlife partly because it is effectively three forests rolled into one, each with its own fauna and flora. On the eastern side, in the wetter coastal sands is the Mixed Forest which supports a diverse array of tree species, in addition to the prehistoric cycad plants. In the central belt of the forest, on infertile, white sands is an area of open woodland which comprises the Brachystegia Forest. Forest TrackOf the six Globally Threatened birds in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, three, namely the Amani Sunbird, Clarke's Weaver and Sokoke Pipit, are largely confined to this habitat. By far the largest area of the forest is dense, shady Cynometra Thicket. Here, on the red soils of the "Sokoke", is the home of the Sokoke Scops Owl. The indigenous Brachylaena huillensis (Muhuhu) was once abundant here. However, it is now critically threatened due to illegal extraction. Indeed much of the wildlife of the forest is threatened by illegal activities and sheer pressure of the surrounding communities.

 

The Place

Arabuko-Sokoke Forest

 

Mida Creek

 

Forest Wildlife

 

Mida Creek Wildlife

 

Threats