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Location Angola, Huíla
Central coordinates 15o 4.00' East  13o 44.00' South
IBA criteria A3
Area 20,000 ha
Altitude 1,600 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description The site comprises tall miombo woodland, interspersed with poorly drained grassy patches and grassy drainage lines, on the central plateau around the town of Caconda. No detailed climatic data for the area are available, but the site is situated in the 1,200 mm isohyet. The woodlands are dominated by Brachystegia spiciformis and Julbernardia paniculata, with B. floribunda, B. boehmii, B. wangermeeana and B. gossweileri locally dominant. Grasses of the genera Andropogon, Trachypogon and Tristachya occur in the narrow drainage lines, with Loudetia simplex dominant. The canopy is more or less continuous and the height varies from 4 m to 12 m. There is a sparse to moderate cover of shrubs and grass below the canopy, with wide breaks in the woodland along the drainage lines. These latter areas are generally fringed with scattered Uapaca, Piliostigma and Erythrina trees. Patches of nutrient-rich soil (old village sites) occur within the miombo woodland, usually with pioneer Acacia species and Dichrostachys cinerea trees. Burkea africana and Monotes species occur on sandy patches (probably previously cleared areas), further increasing the structural diversity of the woodland. There are no current data available on the condition of the woodland, or of the area generally.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. The importance of the site lies in the high species-richness of Zambezian-biome species, but the avifauna of the area is virtually unstudied, and most of the current knowledge is derived from collected specimens. Many records from the site date back to the late 1800s, although there has been relatively recent fieldwork (collecting) done in the Caconda area (Pinto 1970) and to the south of the area (Dean 1974); Dean et al. 1988). Nevertheless, the avifauna is rich, and includes all of the Brachystegia endemics listed by Benson and Irwin (1966) and at least 35 biome-restricted species, out of the total of 235 bird species that have been collected in the area (the full species list is likely to be substantially larger).Dioptrornis brunneus, a restricted-range species, is a frequently encountered resident, and two species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome and two of the Afrotropical Highlands biome have also been recorded from the site.

Open woodland fringing wide drainage lines provides breeding habitat for such species as Rhinoptilus chalcopterus, Pinarocorys nigricans, Lanius souzae and Lagonosticta rufopicta. The site is one of the few localities where Coturnix chinensis and Anthus caffer have been collected, and is the southernmost locality where Tricholaema frontata occurs (a species generally uncommon in Angola). There is a record of Ficedula hypoleuca from the site (Bocage 1878), but the specimen no longer exists and could have been a misidentification of the more likely Ficedula albicollis. Caconda is the northernmost limit of the distribution of Phoeniculus cynamelas and Neocichla gutturalis in Angola.

Wetland habitats along the Catani river support 23 or more species of waterbird (16% of the Angolan list), some in numbers considered at least nationally important. The globally threatened Grus carunculatus is resident and probably breeds.

Non-bird biodiversity: There are no current data on the status of the large carnivores, but Lycaon pictus (EN) and Panthera leo (VU) have been recorded in the past (Cabral 1987; Cabral and Simões 1988). Bats that have been collected at this site include Epomophorus angolensis (LR/nt) (Cabral 1989).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Anchieta's Barbet Stactolaema anchietae resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Pied Barbet Tricholaema frontata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Racquet-tailed Roller Coracias spatulatus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pale-billed Hornbill Lophoceros pallidirostris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Souza's Shrike Lanius souzae resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Tit Parus griseiventris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-and-rufous Swallow Hirundo nigrorufa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-throated Swallow Hirundo rufigula resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Angola Lark Mirafra angolensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chirping Cisticola Cisticola pipiens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Wren-warbler Camaroptera undosa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-necked Eremomela Eremomela atricollis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-capped Crombec Sylvietta ruficapilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Angola Babbler Turdoides hartlaubii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sharp-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis acuticaudus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Babbling Starling Neocichla gutturalis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Scrub-robin Erythropygia barbata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Black-chat Myrmecocichla arnoti resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Rock-thrush Monticola angolensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Boehm's Flycatcher Muscicapa boehmi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Anchieta's Sunbird Anthreptes anchietae resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Oustalet's Sunbird Nectarinia oustaleti resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia manoensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bocage's Sunbird Nectarinia bocagii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bocage's Weaver Ploceus temporalis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-winged Weaver Ploceus angolensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Firefinch Lagonosticta nitidula resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fuelleborn's Longclaw Macronyx fuellebornii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   18%
Shrubland   26%
Forest   54%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
other -
Notes: Charcoal production; firewood collection.

References Pinto (1970).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Caconda. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2014

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