oNgoye Forest, also known as Ngoye or Ngoya Forest, is an ancient coastal scarp forest, protected by the oNgoye Forest Reserve in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province. The forest of almost 4,000 ha covers an extensive granite ridge that rises from 200 to 460 metres above sea level. It is found some 10 km inland, or 16 km by road, from the coastal town of Mtunzini, and adjoins smaller forest reserves on its periphery, namely Impeshulu in the west, Ezigwayini in the north, and Dengweni in the south.
History and status
The area became an official conservation area in 1992. Cattle grazing, crop cultivation and limited utilization of trees however occur in the protected area, and the edge of the forest is subjected to periodic burning which may reduce the forest area.
It is home to the endemic race ornatus of the red bush squirrel, the endemic race woodwardi of Woodward's barbet, two undescribed dwarf chameleons similar to the Qudeni dwarf chamaeleon, the rare forest green butterfly and the oNgoye centipede.
Rare trees include giant umzimbeet, forest mangosteen, forest waterberry, giant pock ironwood, Zulu bead-string, Natal krantz ash, Natal elm and the Pondo fig. Besides the Pondo fig, another six species of Ficus occur.
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- Tolley, K. and Burger, M. 2007. Chameleons of Southern Africa. pp 73 & 85
- Birds in Reserves, ADU
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- Pooley, T. and Player, I. (1995). KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife Destinations. ISBN 1-86812-487-8.