Avifauna conservation in Mutito and Muumoni Hill Forests boosts ecotourism in Kitui County


Lack of conservation of Mutito and Muumoni Hills forests in Kitui County led to the degradation of ecosystem services, including lack of water downstream to the communities, and low income within the community, among others. To spur conservation efforts to increase ecosystem services and improve the livelihoods of the surrounding community, the County Government of Kitui commissioned a survey of avifauna in the two hills forests which established that human interference such as illegal harvesting of timber and charcoal production had led to the degradation of biodiversity in the forests known for a rich diversity and abundance of birds. Muumoni now has 152 bird species and 9 species of reptiles and amphibians, while Mutitu has 215 bird species.

The forests now have Important Bird Areas (IBAs) status and are gazetted dryland indigenous forests with some small pockets of exotic plantations. The County Government is fostering conservation actions and also promoting viable ecotourism activities which provide employment opportunities, i.e. tour guiding, camping facilities and initiation of nature-based enterprises like honey production; it has also catalyzed revenue for the County Government, which is used for other development projects.


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Relevant County:
Date of Publication:
8 February, 2023

Jane Kimbwarata

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