Home to many endemic African violets and 10 new species of lichen, and 29% of tree species are endemic.
There is great endemism of amphibians and reptiles, 8 out of 15, and 14 out of 37 species respectively. Of 81 bird species, 5 have very restricted ranges and 1 or 2 strictly endemic. One species of hyrax is believed to be endemic.
Many of the larger mammals have been hunted out of the West Usambaras, leaving only squirrel species, black and white colobus, Sykes monkeys, and very few duikers.
Small scale subsistence agriculture converting forest to maize, beans, cassava and banana fields and cash crops for local towns.
The increased area of forest edge resulting from fragmentation of forest also introduces pathways for invasion of exotic species which may reduce indigenous plant diversity. The invasive exotic Lantana sp. is frequently seen along forest patch edges in the West Usambaras.
Trial areas for community forest development exist within the watershed, and people’s attitudes to reforestation is positive as indicated by questionnaires, but these areas are mostly for fast growing exotics.
Halperin J. (2002) Reforestation planning in the West Usambara Mountains. Unpublished M.Sc. thesis, North Carolina State University.