CEPF invested in the Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests Hotspot, which lies within two newly classified hotspots: the Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa and the Eastern Afromontane.
Our investment helped add more than 158,000 hectares to Tanzania’s protected areas network. Surveys of 37 lesser-known forests in the hotspot resulted in improved understanding of the biodiversity and the threats to these sites. In addition, the threat status of 800 plants and 157 butterflies was documented. Our grantees discovered at least 29 new vertebrate species, including the Critically Endangered Kipunji monkey (Rungwecebus kipunji) and Vulnerable grey-faced elephant shrew (Rhynchocyon udzungwensis).
CEPF funding helped address the illegal logging trade between Tanzania and China and effect the institution of an illegal logging ban in Tanzania in 2004. We also helped support 26 students to master’s and doctoral level in conservation-related studies, which contributed to capacity building of upcoming scientists and researchers, generating much-needed biological knowledge and creating linkages with the local academic and research institutions from which these students were drawn.
The Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa Biodiversity Hotspot stretches along the eastern edge of Africa and includes parts of Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. All islands lying immediately offshore are also part of the hotspot—Pemba, Zanzibar, Mafia and the Bazaruto Archipelago among them.
The hotspot's forests are home to a variety of primate species including three endemic and highly threatened monkey species and two endemic bushbaby species. The Tana River, which runs through central Kenya, is home to two Critically Threatened and endemic primates, the Tana River red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus) and the Tana River mangabey (ercocebus galeritus).
Vegetation in the hotspot is a complex mix of moist forests and dry forests, with coastal thicket, savanna woodlands, seasonal and permanent swamps, and mangroves. The 40,000 cultivated varieties of African violet, which form the basis of a multi-million global houseplant trade, are all derived from a handful of species found in the coastal Tanzanian and Kenyan forests.