|Central coordinates||13o 16.00' East 8o 50.00' South|
|Altitude||0 - 2m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box for key species. The site is important for aquatic birds, with 61 congregatory waterbird species (42% of Angolan list) recorded, some of which occur in numbers which are at least nationally significant. Morus capensis and Sterna balaenarum are frequent to common non-breeding visitors to inshore waters. Some general studies of the avifauna have been carried out (Günther and Feiler 1986) and a project that focused on the food of two waders, Numenius arquata and N. phaeopus, was recently done by a student at the Universidade Agostinho Neto in Luanda (Loutchanski 1997).The lagoon and intertidal flats are important foraging areas for waders from the Palearctic moving south in the austral spring and returning in the late summer. All the Palearctic wader species that have been recorded in Angola have also (or have only) been recorded at Mussulo. This is one of the few sites on the Angolan coast where Phoenicopterus ruber frequently forages. There are nesting colonies of a number of species of herons and egrets and Threskiornis aethiopica on Ilha dos Passaros. Three species characteristic of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome, one of the Zambezian biome and one of the Kalahari–Highveld biome occur at the site.
Site description This is a long sand-spit, c.35 km long, lying parallel to the coast, with the northern tip about 10 km south-west of Luanda. The area includes several small islands, one of which (the Ilha dos Passaros) lies between Mussulo and the mainland. The vegetation is dominated by mangroves (Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa and Avicenna germinans), with low-growing saltmarshes (Sesuvium portulacastrum, S. mesembritemoides and Salicornia sp.) and intertidal flats (Loutchanski 199).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Cape Gannet Morus capensis||winter||-||common [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Damara Tern Sterna balaenarum||winter||-||common [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Rueppell's Parrot Poicephalus rueppellii||resident||1998||-||-||Least Concern|
|Red-backed Mousebird Colius castanotus||resident||1998||-||-||Least Concern|
|Bubbling Cisticola Cisticola bulliens||resident||1998||-||-||Least Concern|
|Orange Weaver Ploceus aurantius||resident||1998||-||-||Least Concern|
|Long-legged Pipit Anthus pallidiventris||resident||1998||-||-||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
Management considerations Ilha dos Passaros has been proposed as a protected area (Huntley 1974b). One of the motivations for protecting this island is that the mangrove ecosystem of Mussulo is not represented in mangrove communities elsewhere on the Angolan coast, and their botanical interest alone justifies conservation (Huntley 1974b, and see Airy Shaw 1947). Mangrove forests on Mussulo are currently being felled for housing timber (K. Loutchanski, pers. comm.) and are likely to be totally destroyed within a relatively short time.
References Günther and Feiler (1986), Loutchanski (1997).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mussulo. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2013
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