Most of Uganda’s forest inhabitants have a wide distribution in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and west Africa. At the same time, a smaller proportion comprises eastern species that birders might easily observe in forested habitats in Kenya, Tanzania, and in some instances, Ethiopia.
A significant number, however, are endemic to the Albertine Rift. In other words, their range is more-or-less confined to montane habitats associated with the Rift Valley Escarpment running between Lake Albert and the north of Lake Tanganyika.
The most celebrated of these regional endemics is, of course, the mountain gorilla, confined to the Virungas and Bwindi Mountains near the eastern Rift Valley Escarpment. Other primates endemic to the Albertine Rift include several taxa of smaller primates, for instance, the golden monkey and Rwenzori colobus.
In contrast, eight endemic butterflies are considered flagship species for the hundreds of invertebrate taxa that occur nowhere else.
Of the remarkable tally of 37 range-restricted bird species listed as Albertine Rift endemics, roughly half are considered to be of global conservation concern.
All 37 bird species have been recorded in the DRC, where nine are endemic since their range is confined to the western escarpment forests.
More than 20 Albertine Rift endemics reside in Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, while two extend their range southward into western Tanzania.
All 24 Albertine Rift endemics recorded in Uganda occur in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, including the highly sought African green broadbill, which is elsewhere known only from the ltombwe Mountains and Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the DRC.