The Bujingijila Corridor

Region: Mbeya
Type: E - Potential connectivity of important habitats.
Threat: Critical - probably less than 3 years remaining.
The Bujingijila Corridor -  ©WCS
The Bujingijila Corridor -  ©WCS

The Bujingijila Corridor - ©WCS

Map © WCS

Description

The western part of the Kitulo National Park (NP) consists of the former Livingstone Forest Reserve (FR).

Montane and upper montane forest cloak the escarpment from the plateau grassland down into Unyakyusa. At its furthest west, the forest connects with the newly gazetted Mt Rungwe Nature Reserve (NR). The area remains largely unmanaged although reafforestation is planned as part of the WCS-implemented on-going REDD+ programme.

Most of the forest in the area, both inside the park and the reserve, is secondary and in a poor condition. The connection itself is amongst the poorest in condition and whilst the whole area used to be forested, now just a very narrow corridor links these two very important forests.

Wildlife

KipunjiA range of rare and restricted-range species occupy the forest landscape.

Most notably, the kipunji, Abbott’s duiker, bushbuck, Rungwe galago (Galagoides sp nov) and Sharpe’s black and white colobus (Colobus angolanus sharpei).

Leopard use the corridor seasonally and the two forests are also home to a variety of endemic vertebrates, invertebrates and plants.

Threats

Technically, most of the corridor is protected either within the park or the reserve. However, there has been no active management in Mt Rungwe for decades and TANAPA staff are only now addressing deforestation in this steep and remote landscape.

The corridor is encroached upon, and still being logged, hunted and cut for charcoal.

References

Davenport, T.R.B., De Luca, D.W., Jones, T., Mpunga, N.E., Machaga, S.J. & Picton Phillipps, G. (2008) The Critically Endangered kipunji Rungwecebus kipunji of southern Tanzania: first census and conservation status assessment. Oryx 42 (3): 352-359