Coastal East Africa Regional Programme

Coastal East Africa Regional Programme

The coastal forests of east Africa have been reduced to around 10% of their original extent but the few remaining patches still contain a wealth of unique species.

In Kenya most coastal forest has been converted to agriculture or development infrastructure. However there are a few relatively large protected areas with significant wildlife populations including the Arabuko-Sokoke forest near Mombasa and the Boni and Dodori National Reserves near the Somali border. Arabuko-Sokoke is famous for its rare coastal birds, butterflies and several unusual mammal species including the golden-rumped elephant shrew. Surrounded by villages and easily accessible from towns and tourist areas Arabuko-Sokoke suffers from the unsustainable use of forest products including charcoal, timber and bushmeat. In contrast the forested areas in and around the Boni and Dodori Reserves have few people living nearby and harbour abundant populations of large mammals such as buffalo, leopard and lion in addition to coastal forest endemics. The threat to this area comes from the major infrastructure being planned including a commercial port and an oil pipeline from South Sudan. These developments will bring increased migration, new roads and expanded settlements opening up the area and significantly changing the lives of the resident Aweer people and the local wildlife.

WWCT has chosen Coastal East Africa as one of its Regional Conservation Programmes because of its highly threatened biodiversity and due to a history of support to partners in Kenya for survey work mostly focusing on the Critically Endangered small antelope Aders’ duiker.