The Nguru Mountains are located in Morogoro Rural District in Morogoro Region. There is the main Nguru block and a large isolated outlier at Kanga. These mountains range up to 2,400 m altitude in Nguru South. Villages from nine wards surround the reserves. The total population in the immediate vicinity of the Nguru mountain is over 61,250 people.
The Nguru Mountains contain one Nature Reserve (Mkingu; formed of Mkindo and Nguru South forest reserves) and two central government managed ‘catchment’ Forest Reserves (Kanga and Magotwe), with a total area of 31,409 ha – all supporting Eastern Arc forest. The forest vegetation is highly varied according to altitude. Lowland rain forest occurs between 300-900 m in valleys of the eastern slopes. Submontane forest covers a large area between 900 and 1400 m in the eastern valleys with fragments on the western slopes at 1400-1500 m.
Montane forest occurs between 1400 and 1800 m with moss covered upper montane forest at higher altitudes, and drier montane forests on the western side above Maskati mission at 1600-2000 m. Heath occurs on the upper ridges above 2000 m, with some isolated stands as low as 1200 m where soil conditions do not permit forest growth.
Current knowledge indicates that there are 15 Eastern Arc endemic species in these mountains. For trees there are also 25 Eastern Arc endemic species.
In terms of biodiversity the Nguru Mountains have fairly high importance. Current knowledge indicates that there are 15 Eastern Arc endemic species in these mountains. For trees there are also 25 Eastern Arc endemic species. These totals will increase when new species of amphibians and reptiles found during 2004 and 2005 are described. (image: Aloe sp. found in the Nguru Mountains)
The threats to the Nguru forests are agricultural encroachment and under planting of forest with cardamom and banana, pit sawing of timber and fires. (Image: agriculture at the foot of the mountains).