Mount Moroto Forest Reserve, Uganda

Site Details
Assessment Details

Site Overview

KBA status: confirmed

Rationale for qualifying as KBA: This site qualifies as a Key Biodiversity Area of international significance because it meets one or more previously established criteria and thresholds for identifying sites of biodiversity importance (including Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, Alliance for Zero Extinction sites, and Key Biodiversity Areas) KBA identified in the process of compiling the CEPF Ecosystem Profile of the East Afromontane Hotspot. Species taxonomy and threat category was based on IUCN Red List 2010-4.

Global KBA criteria:
Year of assessment: 2011
National site name: Mount Moroto Forest Reserve
Central coordinates: Lat: 2.52 Long: 34.78
System: Terrestrial
Altitude (m): 960 to 3,084
Area of KBA (ha): 48,463
Protected area coverage (%): 94

Text account

Year of compilation: 2001
Site description:

Mount Moroto Forest Reserve is perched on top of the escarpment of the Eastern Rift Valley, east of Moroto town; its eastern boundaries are also those of the Ugandan border with Kenya. The upper parts of Mount Moroto are forested (totalling c.7,000 ha), but the reserve extends a considerable distance into savannas of various types, including Combretum woodlands, as well as bushland and tree/shrub-steppe.

Summary of threats to biodiversity at KBA:

There are three communities inhabiting the slopes of Mount Moroto. The Tepeth people are the largest and most established population, the Kraals are scattered on the lower slopes and the Karamojong on the lower plains. These communities grow crops, and graze cattle and goats, and they rely on the forest for many of their basic needs, such as fuelwood, building poles and medicine (including the stimulant leaf locally called ‘mairungi’). Gold is panned for in some rivers flowing from the mountain. The mountain often acts as a refuge to warring tribes in the area—the Karamojong, the Tepeth and the Turkana on the Kenyan side of the mountain. As a result, there is extensive hunting in the reserve using automatic weapons and dogs, and most large mammals have been hunted to extinction.


IUCN Habitat Coverage level Coverage % Habitat detail
1. Forest - 21-30%
14. Artificial - Terrestrial - 71-80%
18. Unknown - 21-30%
3. Shrubland - 71-80%
4. Grassland - 1-10%


Threat level 1 Threat level 2 Threat level 3 Timing Scope Severity Impact
5 Biological resource use 5.2 Gathering terrestrial plants 5.2.2 Unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) Ongoing Affects the minority of the population (<50%) Causing or likely to cause negligible declines Low
5 Biological resource use 5.3 Logging & wood harvesting 5.3.3 Unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest] Ongoing Affects the minority of the population (<50%) Causing or likely to cause negligible declines Low
7 Natural system modifications 7.1 Fire & fire suppression 7.1.1 Increase in fire frequency/intensity Ongoing Affects the minority of the population (<50%) Causing or likely to cause negligible declines Low

Recommended citation

Key Biodiversity Areas Partnership (2024) Key Biodiversity Areas factsheet: Mount Moroto Forest Reserve. Extracted from the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas. Developed by the Key Biodiversity Areas Partnership: BirdLife International, IUCN, American Bird Conservancy, Amphibian Survival Alliance, Conservation International, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Global Environment Facility, Re:wild, NatureServe, Rainforest Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, World Wildlife Fund and Wildlife Conservation Society. Downloaded from on 02/03/2024.