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Kenya Forest Figures

Forest Cover
Total forest area: 3,522,000 ha
% of land area: 6.2%

Primary forest cover: 704,000 ha
% of land area: 1.2%
% total forest area: 20.0%

Deforestation Rates, 2000-2005
Annual change in forest cover: -12,000 ha
Annual deforestation rate: -0.3%
Change in defor. rate since '90s: -1.4%
Total forest loss since 1990: -186,000 ha
Total forest loss since 1990:-5.0%

Primary or "Old-growth" forests
Annual loss of primary forests: -2400 ha
Annual deforestation rate: -0.3%
Change in deforestation rate since '90s: -4.3%
Primary forest loss since 1990: -12,000 ha
Primary forest loss since 1990:-5.1%

Forest Classification
Public: 97.8%
Private: 2.2%
Other: 0%
Production: n.s.%
Protection: 100%
Conservation: n/a
Social services: n/a
Multiple purpose: n/a
None or unknown: n/a

Forest Area Breakdown
Total area: 3,522,000 ha
Primary: 704,000 ha
Modified natural: 2,616,000 ha
Semi-natural: n/a
Production plantation: 202,000 ha
Production plantation: n/a

Plantations, 2005: 202,000 ha
% of total forest cover: 5.7%
Annual change rate (00-05): -2,000,000 ha

Carbon storage
Above-ground biomass: 536 M t
Below-ground biomass: 133 M t

Area annually affected by
Fire: 3,000 ha
Insects: n/a
Diseases: n/a

Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Number of native tree species: n/a
Critically endangered: 3
Endangered: 14
Vulnerable: 50

Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood: 2,402,000 m3 o.b.
Wood fuel: 24,256,000 m3 o.b.

Value of forest products, 2005
Industrial roundwood: n/a
Wood fuel: n/a
Non-wood forest products (NWFPs): n/a
Total Value: n/a

More forest statistics for Kenya

Kenya has very little rainforest (mostly montane forest) cover, and these scattered patches are being further degraded for fuelwood and building material. Overall forest loss in Kenya has been moderate over the past generation—5 percent of the country's forest cover was lost between 1990 and 2005. Primary forest cover also fell by 5 percent over the same period and now cover around 700,000 hectares. Deforestation rates have decreased slightly since the end of the 1990s.

Kenya is world famous for its safari wildlife, and 12.3 percent of its land area is currently under some form of protection. The country has 1,103 species of birds, 261 mammals, 407 reptiles, 76 amphibians, and 6,500 species of plants.

The most immediate threats to Kenya's forests are subsistence activities and agricultural expansion. In recent years conflicts between forest squatters and police have escalated as the government tries to crack down on deforestation. In 2005, the government evicted 10,000-50,000 families from the edge of the Mau Forest in the Rift Valley as part of its campaign to protect the country's natural resources.

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Suggested reading - Books
Unless otherwise specified, this article was written by Rhett A. Butler [Bibliographic citation for this page]

Other resources

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Last updated: 4 Feb 2006