AbstractFrom historical accounts the extent of indigenous forest in Lesotho has decreased since the middle of the last century. However, in historic times forest was never extensive, being confined to small patches. Fire was probably the main limiting factor to the spread of forest. Although indigenous forest covers less than 4,5% of Lesotho, many products, especially fuelwood, are obtained from them by neighbouring rural populations. The largest individuals of seven species of indigenous trees or shrubs are describe. Indigenous forest is divided into three broad types: a.Leucosidea sericea Forest. b.Mixed Forest and Thicket. c.Open Shrubland with Forest or isolated trees. An ecological inventory is proposed to identify and classify the remaining areas of indigenous forest. This would provide information for a rational conservation programme. The two present areas under protection, Matsitise Nature Reserve and Sehlabethebe National Park are briefly described as is the proposed “Biosphere Reserve” at Mount Morosi. Four areas with relatively undisturbed indigenous forest are listed.
Leslie, Andrew (1991) Indigenous Forest and Woodland in the Kingdom of Lesotho.