Mount Elgon

Mount Elgon

Country: Uganda

Administrative region: Eastern (Region)

Central co-ordinates: 1.10346 N, 34.50890 E

Qualifying IPA Criteria

A(i)Site contains one or more globally threatened species, B(ii)Site contains an exceptional number of species of high conservation importance, C(iii)Site contains nationally threatened or restricted habitat or vegetation types, AND/OR habitats that have severely declined in extent nationally

IPA assessment rationale


Site description


Botanical significance

Alongside threatened species, this IPA is one of the most important sites for the nationally Endangered habitat, Afromontane rainforest, hosting 35% of the national resource. Significant areas of this forest has already been lost on Mount Elgon, particularly on the more sheltered southwestern slopes where this habitat is thought to have extended to lower altitudes than at present (Langdale-Brown et al. 1964; van Breugel et al. 2015). On the drier northern slopes of this mountain, forest transitions to the drier Afromontane undifferentiated type. Although there is only a small extent of this habitat within this IPA (48 km2), Afromontane undifferentiated forest is rare nationally and so it is estimated that around 20% of the national resource lies within Mount Elgon National Park (Richards et al., In Review). Therefore this habitat type also triggers criterion C(iii) under the IPA criteria.

Habitat and geology

Conservation issues

Site assessor(s)

IPA criterion C qualifying habitats

Habitat Qualifying sub-criterion ≥ 5% of national resource ≥ 10% of national resource 1 of 5 best sites nationally Areal coverage at site
Afromontane dry forest (VU) C(iii) True True True 47.97

Afromontane dry forest (VU)

Qualifying sub-criterion:
≥ 5% of national resource:
≥ 10% of national resource:
Areal coverage at site:


Langdale-Brown, I., Osmaston, H. A., & Wilson, J. G., 1964

The Vegetation of Uganda and its Bearing on Land-Use

van Breugel, P., Kindt, R., Lillesø, J., Bingham, M., Demissew, S., Dudley, C., Friis, I., Gachathi, F., Kalema, J., Mbago, F., Moshi, H., Mulumba, J., Namaganda, M., Ndangalasi, H., Ruffo, C., Védaste, M., Jamnadass, R. & Graudal, L., 2015

Potential Natural Vegetation Map of Eastern Africa (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia)

Available online

Recommended citation

(2024) Tropical Important Plant Areas Explorer: Mount Elgon (Uganda). (Accessed on 27/05/2024)