The Michiru Forest in Malawi is under immense threat. Deforestation, charcoal burning, farming – there are many reasons for the forest loss – none of them is unknown to us in Sierra Leone.

“When I see how fast Michiru Forest is being destroyed, it makes my heart bleed looking at how much effort we had put to conserve this iconic Miombo woodland. We need more hands to fight this battle, and ultimately win it.

The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL) is the national Birdlife International partner. The Birdlife network is like a family. If one of us is in trouble we support each other. Today we want to draw your attention to one of Malawi´s forest reserves.  We ask for your help and support for our Birdlife partner in Malawi, Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM), in their battle to save Malawi´s iconic forest.

About Michiru Mountain Forest Reserve

“Located eight kilometres from Blantyre City in Southern Malawi, Michiru Mountain covers 18 square kilometres. The Michiru Mountain Forest Reserve was established in 1970, covering an area of 3,004 ha. The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife such as leopards, porcupines, baboons, blue and velvet monkeys, bushbucks,  and birds including the African paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis), Heuglins Robin (Cossypha heuglini) and Red-throated Twinspot (Hypargos niveoguttatus) among others. The forest provides direct benefits to the communities in terms of mushrooms, firewood, medicine and religious activities among others. Over the years, the forest has faced pressures, driven by population growth, agriculture, urbanization, and poaching leading to its degradation, further exacerbated by impacts of the COVID- 19 pandemic and Cyclone Freddy which hit the country in March 2023.

It is estimated that the forest has now lost over 1,904 hectares, with most of these being indigenous trees species including other biodiversity including the Southern Ground-Hornbill (Bucorvas leadbeateri) and the Red-necked Falcon (Falco chicquera ) which were last spotted in 1991 and 2009 respectively. Further, destruction of the forest has also severely impacted tourism in the area. Further aggravating the situation is the limited human resource capacity to protect the forest reserve whose jurisdiction falls under the country’s Department of Forestry and Department of National Parks and Wildlife.” (excerpt from birdlife.org)

Read the full article online on www.birdlife.org

Our partner in Malawi needs our support. WESM has started an online petition on the issue.
We all can add our bit to help save the Michiru Mountain Forest Reserve – with our signature.

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