The Eastern Arc Mountains are renown in Africa for high concentrations of endemic species of animals and plants. Thirteen separate mountain blocks comprise the Eastern Arc, supporting around 3300 km2 of sub-montane, montane and upper montane forest, less than 30% of the estimated original forested area. At least 96 vertebrate species are endemic, split as follows: 10 mammal, 19 bird, 29 reptile and 38 amphibian species. This includes four endemic or nearly endemic species of primate – the Sanje Mangabey, the Iringa Red Colobus, the Mountain Galago and the new Kipunji monkey that forms its own monotypic genus. A further 71 vertebrate species are near-endemic. At least 800 vascular plant species are endemic, almost 10% of these being trees. These endemics include the majority of the species of African violet – Saintpaulia, a well-known flowering plant in Western households. An additional 32 species of bryophytes are also endemic. Many hundreds of invertebrates are also likely to be endemic, with data for butterflies, millipedes and dragonflies indicating potential trends in importance. Seventy-one of the endemic or near-endemic vertebrates are threatened by extinction (8 critical, 27 endangered, 36 vulnerable), with an additional seven wide ranging threatened species. Hundreds of plant species are also threatened. Most Eastern Arc endemics are closed-forest specialists and comprise taxa with an ancient history and those of more recent origin, including some possessing ancient affinities with taxa from West Africa, Madagascar, and even South America and Southeast Asia. Mountain block prioritisation for biodiversity conservation shows that Udzungwas, East Usambaras and Ulugurus are the most important blocks, with other important blocks being the Ngurus and West Usambaras. Rankings are correlated closely with the area of remaining forest. Most of the remaining forest is found within nearly 150 Government Forest Reserves, with 106 of these managed nationally for water catchment, biodiversity and soil conservation and where forest exploitation is not allowed. Outside these areas most forest has been cleared, except in small village burial/sacred sites, a few Village Forest Reserves, and inaccessible areas. In most Eastern Arc Mountains the local populations have not encroached beyond the reserve boundaries to develop farms, but forest resources within the boundaries are used for fuel and building materials and some forests are heavily degraded. Fire is also a problem as it enters and destroys forests during the dry seasons. The future of the biodiversity on the Eastern Arc Mountains is closely tied to management policies and capacity of the Tanzania Forestry and Beekeeping Division, Tanzania National Parks Authority, and Kenya Forest Department. Supporting these agencies in their mandated job is an essential conservation investment over the longer term.