Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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28o 44.00' East 16o 15.00' South
400 - 700m
Year of IBA assessment
Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)
Site description Probably the largest remaining block of undisturbed lowland decidous thicket in zambia. The site straddles the Chirundu-Siavonga road and is defined , in part by the Mutulanganga Local Forest 9No 183). Further work is requiredd to define the southern and eastern boundaries. The area is drained by the highly seasonal Mutulanganag and Mbendele rivers which flow eastwards into the Zambezi after heavy rain. There are strecthes of mopane and other types of dry woodland with baobabs , but most of the area is cloaked in dense decidous thicket. here the core dominant tree is probably Xylia torreana (Mimosoidae), a species typical of only the least disturbed thickets. the human population is patchy and only dense in some places such as Lusitu, a somewhat dysfunctional settlement which houses many of the families moved from the area flooded by Lake kariba in the late 1950s.
Key Biodiversity The area is perhaps best known as a regular breeding ground for the migratory African Pitta. Like most rains visitors, this elusive species is pesent between about late November and early april, although its distribution and numbers presnt appear to to change from year to year. Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo would appear to be seasonal as well and this is the only Zambian site from which the species is reported regularly.There are sight records of Dark-backed Weaver, here some distance from other parts of its Zambian range. these birds have yet to be indintified racially but are possibly the eastern sub-species which occur further dorn the zambezi valley in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. palearctic migrants are well represented and three that occur in significant numbers are Thrush-Nightngale, River Warbler and marsh Warbler. Both mottled and bat-like Spinetails occur, the former usually breeding in hollow baobabs. Other species of interest tha are typical include Western Banded Snake eagle, Creasted Guinefowls, Purple-crested Turaco, African Broadbill, Sombre Bulbul, White-throated Nicator and Livingstone's Flycatcher.
Non-bird biodiversity: There are few large mammals in the area, but African Elephants Loxodonta africana (EN) wander through the area from time to time. The egg-eating snake Dasypetalis medici occurs here at the very western end of its range.