ARABUKO SOKOKE NATIONAL PARK KENYA
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Area 420 km²
Governing body Kenya Wildlife Service
The Arabuko Sokoke National Park protects the Arabuko Sokoke Forest on the coast of Kenya, 110 km north of Mombassa. This national park protects the largest fragment of coastal forest (420 square km) left in East Africa, and is an area of high endemism, containing endemic mammals, birds and plants. The park was first protected as a Crown Forest in 1943, and was gazetted in the 1960s. The park is threatened by the desire for land by local people. Several international conservation organisations are working with the Kenya Wildlife Service to protect the park.
The forest contains three forest types, mixed forest, Brachystegia and Cynometra, each of which protects different communities of plants and animals.
Wildlife of Arabuko Sokoke
The Arabuko Sokoke Forest protects many endemic and near endemic species. The Clarke’s Weaver is completely endemic to the forest, while the emonymous Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, and the Amani Sunbird and Spotted Ground Thrush are found only here and in a forest fragment in Tanzania.
The park adjoins Mida Creek, a mangrove forest that is an important shorebird wintering ground, protecting species such as the Terek Sandpiper and the Crab Plover.
The endearing Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew, an endemic elephant shrew the size of a rabbit, is the most noticeable of the park’s endemic mammals; the Sokoke Bushy-tailed Mongoose and Ader’s Duiker (found only here and in Zanzibar) are more elusive. The forest also has Forest Elephants, African Civets, as well as baboons and Vervet Monkeys. The park is also recognised as an outstanding centre of amphibian diversity.