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Vegetation and Fauna

Vegetation:

The vegetation of the council area is mainly savanna and montane forest. The montane forest is a reserve which extends between 2022 m and 3011 m above sea level. The land under the natural forest including degraded forest is 6900 hectare. Area under tree and shrub savanna is 2400 ha and grass savanna is 1240 hectare. This area became a reserve in 1931, but it was not until 1975 that demarcation of the forest boundary started. In the 1990s forest legislation evolved from state ownership and management to participatory management with local communities. Montane forest covers a land area of 17,325 hectare and about 300.000 people depend on it for livelihoods. It is managed by 6 forest management institutions. This forest is also very rich in medicinal plants. This community forest face problems like grazing of animals in the forest and illegal harvesting of pygeum.

Fauna:

The existence of the kilum-Ijim community forest is a great resource to the municipality. This community forest is home to many animal species especially bird, rodents and reptiles. Oku is popular for bird watching and is home of the endemics Bannerman’s turaco and Banded Wattle-eye. This area is also widely known for bee farming. Due to the exploitation of forest resources, rampant bush fires, extensive poaching of animals and clearing of forest for farm land, most of the wildlife habitat has been destroyed thus rendering them homeless and vulnerable to extinction. This has led to the disappearance of many forest fauna species that existed in the municipality.