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Location Djibouti, Tadjoura
Central coordinates 42o 41.00' East  11o 48.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 14,500 ha
Altitude 182 - 1,783m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Djibouti Nature (Affiliate)

Site description The site consists of woodland habitat on the Goda mountain massif c.30 km west of Tadjoura. Although the name Forêt de Day generally refers only to the high-altitude juniper forest in the area, the lower-altitude wooded areas to the north and east also contain important avifauna and have been included. At upper altitudes, the landscape is rugged, with high plateaus, cliffs and steep mountain slopes, intersected by many wadis. Above c.950 m, the vegetation is dominated by trees of Juniperus procera, with some Olea africana, and an understorey dominated by Buxus hildebranti and/or Tarchonanthus camphoratus. However, the junipers are in regression and B. hildebranti is becoming increasingly dominant, with Acacia seyal also invading. The woodland is interspersed with wooded Acacia grassland and grassland. Below c.950 m, the woodland is dominated by Buxus hildebranti or (particularly at lower altitudes or on better-watered slopes) Terminalia brownii, both mixed with Acacia spp. The wadis are more densely vegetated, with large Ficus spp. and, in a few areas, palm trees. There are several villages within the IBA. The area is used for grazing cattle, camels and goats, and supplies building poles, palm fronds for furniture, and, from the lower slopes, firewood; a number of small market gardens have been created. It is also popular with visitors from Djibouti-ville, and there are three tourist camps and one hotel within the IBA.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. The site is one of only two known sites for the endemic and little-known Francolinus ochropectus (Critically Endangered). While the population trend of this species is not clear, anecdotal evidence suggests that it has declined significantly in the past decades, and human pressure on the habitat is evident; the most recent estimate is 500–1,000 individuals (Welch and Welch 1999). Two Sahel (A03) biome species and Muscicapa gambagae, a species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna (A04) biome, have been recorded. The site holds one breeding pair of Hieraaetus fasciatus and of Aquila verreauxii and there are several records of Accipiter badius. A distinctive yellow-tailed form of Pytilia melba, of uncertain taxonomic status, has been seen here (Welch and Welch 1998).

Non-bird biodiversity: The most important known site for Livistona carinensis (VU) in Djibouti is at Bankoualé, within the IBA. This palm, the sole Livistona species found in Africa and Arabia, is only known to occur in around a dozen sites in Yemen, Somalia and Djibouti. Scattered trees of Dracaena ombet (EN) occur on steep slopes, and Juniperus procera (LR/nt) is common, though declining. The mammals Papio hamadryas (LR/nt), Oreotragus oreotragus (LR/cd), Phacochoerus africanus aeliani (EN) and Otomops martiensseni (VU) also occur.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Djibouti Francolin Pternistis ochropectus resident  1999  present  A1, A2  Critically Endangered 
Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus somaliensis resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus flavirostris resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hemprich's Hornbill Lophoceros hemprichii resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rosy-patched Bush-shrike Rhodophoneus cruentus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted White-eye Zosterops abyssinicus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Somali Starling Onychognathus blythii resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blackstart Cercomela melanura resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shining Sunbird Nectarinia habessinica resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rueppell's Weaver Ploceus galbula resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed low

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) very rapid to severe deterioration low

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   17%
Shrubland   5%
Rocky areas   10%
Grassland   66%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
hunting -
tourism/recreation -
other -
Notes: Extraction of poles for building and palm fronds for furniture; firewood collection.

Further web sources of information 

Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This site has been identified as an AZE due to it containing a Critically Endangered or Endangered species with a limited range.

References Blot (1985, 1986), FAO (1987), Welch and Welch (1984, 1998, 1999), Welch et al. (1986).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Forêt de Day. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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