Environment

Ecological Regions Of Tanzania

The African nation of Tanzania has a mix of rift lakes, dry savannas, and warm, wet, rainforests.

The United Republic of Tanzania is a country within the Great Lakes Region. While most of Tanzania is in East Africa, part of it is in southern Africa too. The country is bordered by Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, Zambia, Burundi, Mozambique, Malawi, and by the Indian Ocean. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest mountain in Africa. With a total land area of 947,303 km2, Tanzania is Africa’s 13th largest country and world’s 31st largest country. The country is densely populated and mountainous to the northeast area of Mount Kilimanjaro. The country is divided into several ecological zones including;

Albertine Rift Montane Forests

This region is categorized under the tropical moist broadleaf forest Biome and mainly covers Afromonte tropical Africa. This ecological region comprises the western parts of Uganda and Tanzania in East Africa and significant parts of Burundi, Rwanda, and DRC. Albertine Rift Montane Forests is characterized by endemic fauna and flora. The cooler climate supports a rich variety of Afromontane flora and fauna. There are 14 species of butterflies and 37 species of birds like Ruwenzori Batis, Collared Apalis, and owlet while some of the mammals include mountain gorilla and L’Hoest’s monkey. The ecoregion also supports over 1000 species of plants. Much of the forest is being cleared for agriculture and by loggers. However, the Ruwenzori National Park management has put in conservation measures to preserve this ecoregion.

East African Montane Forests

East African Montane Forests is common in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and Northern Tanzania. This region consists of several montane forest patches of different sizes. East African Montane Forests covers the areas around Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro, and Mount Meru in Tanzania and is characterized by temperate and seasonal climate. Temperature range is between 100C and 300C with an average annual rainfall of 1500mm. East African Montane Forests contains the low rate of endemic species including eight restricted species of birds and mammals. Human population is relatively high in this ecoregion leading to the transformation of the region. Most of the land has been converted to tea and pyrethrum plantations. However, the area around Mount Kilimanjaro is protected by the government of Tanzania.

Eastern Arc Forests

Eastern Arc Forests extends from Taita Hills in Kenya through eastern Tanzania to between Mount Rungwe and Udzugwa Mountains. The ecoregion comprises of metamorphosed basement rocks which have been uplifted by faulting and weathering over time. The soils in this region are less productive compared to the soils in the volcanic mountain of East Africa. The topography of this ecoregion is characterized by rugged mountain blocks with exposed rocks. The forest formation is divided into upper montane, montane, and submontane forests. Open vegetation can be found in the higher areas while grassland and bamboo cover the lower areas. Eastern Arc Forests contains some endemic species of both flora and fauna.There are over 2000 species of plants. The endemic species in the region include amphibians and reptiles. The exploitation of this area is low due to the high protection. However, logging continues in this area which threatens some species of trees.

Conclusion

The ecological regions of Tanzania are divided into several biomes including Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests, Savannas, and Shrublands, Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Flooded Grasslands and Savannas, Montane Grasslands and Shrublands, Mangroves, and Great Lakes-Freshwater.

Ecological Regions Of Tanzania


Ecological Regions of TanzaniaBiome

Albertine Rift Montane ForestsTropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests

East African Montane ForestsTropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests

Eastern Arc ForestsTropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests

Northern Zanzibar-Inhambane Coastal Forest MosaicTropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests

Southern Zanzibar-Inhambane Coastal Forest MosaicTropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests

Central Zambezian Miombo WoodlandsTropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands

Eastern Miombo WoodlandsTropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands

Itigi-Sumbu ThicketTropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands

Northern Acacia-Commiphora Bushlands and ThicketsTropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands

Serengeti Volcanic GrasslandsTropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands

Southern Acacia-Commiphora Bushlands and ThicketsTropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands

Victoria Basin Forest-Savanna MosaicTropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands

East African HalophyticsFlooded Grasslands and Savannas

Zambezian Flooded GrasslandsFlooded Grasslands and Savannas

East African Montane MoorlandsMontane Grasslands and Shrublands

Southern Rift Montane Forest-Grassland MosaicMontane Grasslands and Shrublands

East African MangrovesMangroves

Lake MalawiGreat Lakes-Freshwater

Lake RukwaGreat Lakes-Freshwater

Lake TanganyikaGreat Lakes-Freshwater

Lake KivaGreat Lakes-Freshwater

Lake EdwardGreat Lakes-Freshwater

Lake GeorgeGreat Lakes-Freshwater

Lake VictoriaGreat Lakes-Freshwater

Eastern Coastal BasinsEastern and Coastal Freshwater

Malagarasi-Moyowosi River SystemEastern and Coastal Freshwater

Pangani RiverEastern and Coastal Freshwater

Southern Eastern RiftEastern and Coastal Freshwater

East African Coral CoastMarine

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