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Tanzania - Malawi mountains
Country/Territory Kenya,Malawi,Mozambique,Tanzania,Zambia
Area 72,000 
Altitude 200 - 3,000m  
Priority critical 
Habitat loss moderate 
Knowledge incomplete 

General characteristics 

The Tanzania-Malawi mountains EBA includes the chain of isolated mountain ranges which extends for c.1,900

Restricted-range species 

The genera Xenoperdix and Modulatrix are endemic to this EBA, and the monotypic endemic genus Swynnertonia is shared with the Eastern Zimbabwe mountains (EBA 104). Most of the restricted-range birds occur in montane forest, but six of these species have been recorded in lowland forest in the foothills of the Usambara mountains (Evans and Anderson 1992, 1993, Evans et al. 1994, Hipkiss et al. 1994, Watson and Perkin undated). Five species are associated with forest edge and non-forest habitats, including four with ranges centred on the higher parts of the Udzungwa mountains, southern highlands and Nyika plateau.

Many parts of the EBA are unexplored or only partially explored ornithologically, so the documented distributions of many of the restricted-range species are undoubtedly incomplete. For example, almost nothing is known of the Rubeho mountains, the Uvidunda mountains and most parts of the Udzungwa mountains and southern highlands (Stuart et al. 1993); civil war in Mozambique has prevented ornithological work there for decades, and the lowland forests in the foothills of many of the Tanzanian ranges remain unstudied (L.

Species IUCN Category
Udzungwa Forest-partridge (Xenoperdix udzungwensis)  EN 
Fischer's Turaco (Tauraco fischeri)  NT 
 (Bubo vosseleri)  NR 
Sokoke Scops-owl (Otus ireneae)  EN 
Uluguru Bush-shrike (Malaconotus alius)  CR 
Fuelleborn's Boubou (Laniarius fuelleborni)  LC 
Uhehe Fiscal (Lanius marwitzi)  LC 
Black-lored Cisticola (Cisticola nigriloris)  LC 
Churring Cisticola (Cisticola njombe)  LC 
Taita Apalis (Apalis fuscigularis)  CR 
Namuli Apalis (Apalis lynesi)  NT 
White-winged Apalis (Apalis chariessa)  VU 
Chapin's Apalis (Apalis chapini)  LC 
 (Andropadus chlorigula)  NR 
 (Phyllastrephus alfredi)  NR 
Long-billed Tailorbird (Artisornis moreaui)  CR 
African Tailorbird (Artisornis metopias)  LC 
Mrs Moreau's Warbler (Bathmocercus winifredae)  VU 
 (Zosterops silvanus)  NR 
Kenrick's Starling (Poeoptera kenricki)  LC 
Thyolo Alethe (Alethe choloensis)  EN 
Taita Thrush (Turdus helleri)  CR 
Swynnerton's Robin (Swynnertonia swynnertoni)  VU 
Dapple-throat (Modulatrix orostruthus)  VU 
Spot-throat (Modulatrix stictigula)  LC 
Sharpe's Akalat (Sheppardia sharpei)  LC 
Usambara Akalat (Sheppardia montana)  EN 
Iringa Akalat (Sheppardia lowei)  VU 
Amani Sunbird (Anthreptes pallidigaster)  EN 
Banded Sunbird (Anthreptes rubritorques)  VU 
Loveridge's Sunbird (Nectarinia loveridgei)  EN 
Moreau's Sunbird (Nectarinia moreaui)  NT 
Rufous-winged Sunbird (Nectarinia rufipennis)  VU 
Usambara Weaver (Ploceus nicolli)  EN 
Buff-shouldered Widowbird (Euplectes psammocromius)  LC 
 (Serinus whytii)  NR 
Kipengere Seedeater (Serinus melanochrous)  NT 

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)

IBA Code Site Name Country
KE021  Taita Hills Forests  Kenya 
MW001  Misuku Hills Forest Reserves  Malawi 
MW002  Nyika National Park (Malawi)  Malawi 
MW003  Uzumara Forest Reserve  Malawi 
MW006  South Viphya Forest Reserve  Malawi 
MW010  Ntchisi Mountain Forest Reserve  Malawi 
MW012  Namizimu Forest Reserve  Malawi 
MW013  Mangochi Mountain Forest Reserve  Malawi 
MW015  Liwonde Hills Forest Reserve  Malawi 
MW017  Soche Mountain Forest Reserve  Malawi 
MW018  Mount Mulanje Forest Reserve  Malawi 
MW019  Thyolo tea estates  Malawi 
MW020  Thyolo Mountain Forest Reserve  Malawi 
MZ009  Mount Namuli  Mozambique 
MZ010  Mount Chiperone  Mozambique 
MZ015  Njesi plateau  Mozambique 
MZ016  Mount Mabu  Mozambique 
TZ011  Udzungwa National Park  Tanzania 
TZ058  Livingstone Mountains forests  Tanzania 
TZ059  Nguru Mountains  Tanzania 
TZ060  Nguu Mountains  Tanzania 
TZ061  Njombe forests  Tanzania 
TZ064  Rubeho Mountains  Tanzania 
TZ065  Mount Rungwe  Tanzania 
TZ066  Udzungwa Mountains  Tanzania 
TZ067  Ukaguru Mountains  Tanzania 
TZ068  Uluguru Mountains  Tanzania 
TZ069  Umalila Mountains  Tanzania 
TZ070  East Usambara Mountains  Tanzania 
TZ071  West Usambara Mountains  Tanzania 
TZ072  Uvidunda Mountains  Tanzania 
TZ073  Kitulo plateau  Tanzania 
TZ077  Loazi-Kalambo Forest Reserves and surrounding area  Tanzania 
ZM038  Nyika National Park (Zambia)  Zambia 
ZM039  Mafinga Mountains  Zambia 

Threats and conservation 

The main threat to the EBA is forest loss and degradation as a result of clearance for agriculture, the replacement of natural forest with plantations, and the collection of timber and firewood (Rodgers 1993). Twenty of the restricted-range species are threatened, principally the forest birds with particularly small ranges which are likely to be most vulnerable to habitat loss. More widespread threatened species which occur in the EBA are East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunningi (classified as Vulnerable) and Spotted Ground-thrush Zoothera guttata (Endangered).

In the Taita hills, most forest has been cleared for cultivation or forested with exotic timbers, and the remaining 3

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Endemic Bird Area factsheet: Tanzania - Malawi mountains. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife