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The Forests of Tanga Region

Although Tanga Region is the smallest of the regions covered by the three volumes of the Status Reports, the region contains many more forest reserves than either Coast Region or Lindi Region. Most of these forest reserves contain montane and submontane forest that can be classified as belonging to the Afromontane archipelago-like regional centre of endemism by White (1983). Coastal Forest is predominantly found in lowland areas close to the coast.

Most of Tanga Region’s forest reserves are located in the East and West Usambara Mountains, and are administered by the East Usambara Catchment Forest Project and by the Magamba Forest Project respectively. The remaining forest reserves cover outlying hills of the Usambara Mountains and the North Nguru Mountains, with a few reserves found at lower altitudes nearer the coast. Most of these reserves have recently been visited by biologists, especially by Lovett & Pocs (1993) (see Forest Reserve Section) as part of a botanical appraisal conducted for the Catchment Forestry Project based in Tanga.

The 7 Coastal Forests listed in this volume of the Status Reports include the most important known Coastal Forests of Tanga Region outside those in the lowland areas of the East Usambara mountains. These reports follow a simaler format to the “Management Summaries” as used in the Forest Reserve section of this site. The more detailed infomation on the biological values of the forest has been included and the “Management Proposals” section has been replaced with a commrntary on the conservation issues relavent to each forest.

The suggested citation for these reports is: Clarke, G.P. & Stubblefield, L.K. (1995) Status Reports for 7 Coastal forests in Tanga Region, Tanzania. Frontier Technical Report No. 16. The Society for Environmental Exploration, U.K./University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Amboni Caves and Tanga Limestone Forests

The Gendagenda Forest Reserves

Kilulu Hill Forest

Mkwaja Coastal Mosaic Forests

Msumbugwe Forest Reserve

Pangano Falls Forest

Tongwe Forest Reserve

Other Coastal Forests in Tanga Region (outside the East Usambaras) include the following :

Muheza District

A small patch of Coastal Forest is present near the main Tanga to Mombasa road 1 km south of the border post at Horohoro. This forest has been extensively damaged by fuelwood collection for salt production.

Coastal Forest is cited from the garden of the Manager’s house on the Mtotohovu sisal estate to the north of Moa. This forest is the type locality for Mkilua fragrans Verdc., an endemic Coastal Forest plant genus.

Large tracts of Brachylaena huillensis forest are present to the north of the East Usambara mountains to the Kenya border. The extent, importance and location of these forests are yet to be determined, but they are reported to be heavily exploited for the Brachylaena by people from Kenya (who cross the border illegally to obtain the wood).

About 2 square km of scrub forest are present on Yambe Island near Tanga with emergent baobabs Adansonia digitata over a dense forest/thicket with a canopy to 6 m.

Kwani Forest Reserve adjoins to the immediate south-west of the Tongwe Forest Reserve and still contains some 6 km2 of natural forest. More information on this forest is contained as an addendum to the Pangani Falls Status Report.

Steinbruch Forest Reserve, Gombero Forest Reserve, Bwiti Forest Reserve, Magogoni Forest Reserve have all been revoked as forest reserves and are currently government land without status.

Kolekole Forest Reserve on the Pongwe to Tongoni road has been planted with teak but still contains some natural forest.

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Pangani District

The Bushiri, Mwera, Kilimanguido and Sakura sisal estates near Pangani all contain remnant patches of Coastal Forest, and the forest/thicket at Kilimanguido, as well as the riverine forest near the village of Langoni within the Mwera estate are discussed in Hawthorne (1984, pp. 209-214). A number of rare plant species have been found in these forests.

The Tanga Catchment Forest Office is presently proposing the gazettement of forest patches at Kibubu, Jipe and Misakazi (in between the Msumbugwe and Garafuno Forest Reserves).

Handeni District

A large patch of dry scrub forest is present to the south of the army base at Mgambo, on the old road from Pangani to Kabuku. Part of this forest reaches the main Dar es Salaam to Tanga road along a river a few miles south of Kabuku, where the botanist Faulkner has made some collections.

Patches of Coastal Forest occur along the railway line from Tanga to Dar es Salaam south of Gendagenda, near Mkalamu.

Magambazi Forest Reserve, Mtunguru Forest Reserve, Kwasumba Forest Reserve and Handeni Hill Forest Reserve all contain Coastal Forest.

Kwediboma Forest Reserve, Mkuli Forest Reserve and Pumula Forest Reserve in the North Nguru Mountains area all contain elements of Coastal Forest vegetation in the drier forest types at the lower altitudes, as indicated by the presence of Scorodophloeus fischeri. These forests may be intermediate between Afromontane and Zanzibar-Inhambane types.

Lushoto District

Bombo West Forest Reserve contains Coastal Forest/Thicket with Cynometra sp. and Brachylaena huillensis, Croton sp., Euphorbia sp., Teclea sp. and Uvaria sp.

Mweni-Gombelo Forest Reserve contains dry lowland Coastal Forest and riverine forest with Scorodophloeus fischeri, Antiaris toxicaria, Sterculia appendiculata, Milicia excelsa, Parkia filicoidea, Sorindeia madagascariensis, Trilepesium madagascariensis, Malacantha alnifolia, Cola scheffleri and Bequaertiodendron natalense.

Migombani Forest Reserve contains lowland groundwater forest that can be expected to include some Coastal Forest species, especially in the shrub layer. Bombax rhodognaphalon is present.

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Last Updated: 20 March 2017