Threatened bird species on two little-known mountains (Chiperone and Mabu) in northern Mozambique

  • CN Spottiswoode Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK; DST/NRF Centre of Excellence at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
  • IH Patel Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT), PO Box 139, Mulanje, Malawi
  • E Herrmann DST/NRF Centre of Excellence at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
  • J Timberlake Editor, Flora Zambesiaca, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, UK
  • J Bayliss Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT), PO Box 139, Mulanje, Malawi; Wildlife Conservation Society, International Programs, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10460-1090, USA

Abstract

The montane forests of northern Mozambique and southern Malawi support several bird species of global conservation concern, and particularly in Malawi are seriously threatened by deforestation. However, the status of these in northern Mozambique remains poorly known. We report that some 1 600 ha of mid-altitude and montane evergreen forest still exists on Mt Chiperone, and that two globally threatened bird species last reported from this locality in 1950, Thyolo Alethe Alethe choloensis (IUCN status Endangered) and White-winged Apalis Apalis chariessa (Vulnerable), still occur there. Mt Mabu, which to the best of our knowledge was previously biologically undescribed, also has extensive evergreen forest (possibly >5000 ha) and also supports two globally threatened bird species, Thyolo Alethe and East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunningi (Vulnerable). Range extensions of several forest bird taxa of lesser conservation concern are also reported. The evergreen forests on both mountains appear not to have suffered from any substantial human encroachment and do not seem to be under imminent threat, although more extensive surveys are needed. Our records of Thyolo Alethe suggest that its global population is substantially larger than previously thought and that uplisting to Critically Endangered might not be warranted.

Ostrich 2008, 79(1): 1–7
Published
2008-05-13
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525