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Biodiversity of Taita


The Stack (Pinkka) pages for  Taita Research Station are for distributing information on the biodiversity of Taita Hills and surroundings. This e-learning environment is produced and maintained by the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences and it offers a large database of photos and texts helpful in species identification.

The Stack pages shall provide pictures and descriptions of local plant, lichen and bryophyte species as well as of animal species of Taita lowlands. Information about local food plants and species of economic or other human interest can also be found.

Taita Hills are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains that range from southeastern Kenya to eastern Tanzania. The montane forests of this region represent one of the biodiversity hotspots in the World. The high degree of endemism is the result of several features in geological and climatic history (e.g. the crystalline mountains are ancient, the forests are over 30 million years old, the local forests have long evolved in effective isolation from other moist forests, and the moist forests have provided refugio for many forest species during dry climatic spells in the past).

Taita Hills rise abruptly from the surrounding plain and the relatively cool moist air windborne from the Indian Ocean often surrounds them in cloud and mist, especially around the summits. This provides the local forests with favourable conditions for the development of a diverse lichen and bryophyte flora.

Saintpaulia teitensis