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Location Comoros, Ndzuani
Central coordinates 44o 26.00' East  12o 13.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 6,850 ha
Altitude 600 - 1,595m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The site comprises the central highlands of the island of Ndzuani, consisting of four main mountainous blocks. The north-western block (2,650 ha) includes the island’s highest peak (Ntingui, 1,595 m, directly above the island capital, Moutsamoudou), and the crater-lake Dzialandze, and is linked to the southern block by a ridge (c.930 m above sea-level near Dzialandze). The southern block (3,350 ha) includes Trindrini summit (1,474 m), the Forêt de Moya, the ridges of Hamjantro and Hasiaka, and the crater Dzialoutsounga. A sharp ridge (Ngani pass, 868 m) links Trindrini to the eastern block (350 ha), which is the peak and associated ridges of Habakari mountain (1,242 m). The Col de Patsi (700 m) links Ntingui to the north-eastern block (500 ha), which is the peak and associated ridges of Djadjana mountain (1,089 m).Relief is extremely precipitous, with many sharp ridges, ravines, sharply pointed summits and very steep slopes. The site contains all the remaining, scattered remnants of the island’s mixed montane forest, and also the catchments for nearly all of the coastal towns and densely inhabited inland plains (locally known as cuvettes). Forest is restricted to the steepest slopes, and resembles that of Mwali (KM003), with very large trees in places, but the abundance of orchids and pteridophytes and presence of occasional Philippia sp. is reminiscent of Karthala (on Ngazidja, KM001). In 1983, intact forest was estimated to cover 2,164 ha, with 6,118 ha underplanted, sometimes on slopes of at least 45º. Recent estimates vary, but all authorities agree that less than 2,500 ha of intact forest remained in the 1990s and the current total could be only half that, as degradation continues. The main forest areas appear to be the immediate surroundings of Ntingui and Trindrini; the Bandani, Choungoui, Gnavivi and Koundré river catchments; and the north face of Habakari. The extensive Forêt de Moya is almost totally underplanted. The main forest-use is cutting of trees for timber, charcoal manufacture and conversion for agriculture. Non-timber forest products are also harvested or hunted (birds, exotic tenrecs Tenrec ecaudatus).

Key Biodiversity Three species are endemic to Ndzuani, one of which, Otus capnodes, is threatened, though frequent in both intact and underplanted forest. Among the four other restricted-range species, Columba pollenii (uncommon in intact and underplanted forest) is Near Threatened. The near-threatened non-endemic Circus maillardi also occurs. Seven Ndzuani-endemic and eight Comoro-endemic subspecies are also present; of the former, two (Turdus bewsheri bewsheri and the rare Leptosomus discolor intermedius) are very distinctive.

Non-bird biodiversity: Evergreen forest likely to be rich in Ndzuani- and Comoro-endemic species. Mammals: Pteropus livingstonii (CR; endemic to Ndzuani and Mwali, Ndzuani population c.350–400; c.85% of global total), Rousettus obliviosus (LR/nt; Comoro-endemic species), Myotis goudoti (LR/nt; Ndzuani-endemic subspecies), Eulemur mongoz (VU; introduced, but very important population on Ndzuani). Reptiles: six Comoro-endemic species: Paroedura sanctijohannis, Phelsuma v-nigra, Amphiglossus johannae, Mabuya comorensis, Lycodryas sanctijohannis, Typhlops comorensis. Butterflies: five Ndzuani- and four Comoro-endemic species (three shared only with Mwali).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Madagascar Marsh-harrier Circus macrosceles resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Comoro Olive-pigeon Columba pollenii resident  1998  present  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Comoro Blue-pigeon Alectroenas sganzini resident  1998  present  A2  Least Concern 
Anjouan Scops-owl Otus capnodes resident  1998  present  A1, A2  Critically Endangered 
Anjouan Brush-warbler Nesillas longicaudata resident  1998  present  A2  Least Concern 
Comoro Thrush Turdus bewsheri resident  1998  present  A2  Least Concern 
Anjouan Sunbird Nectarinia comorensis resident  1998  present  A2  Least Concern 
Red-headed Fody Foudia eminentissima resident  1998  present  A2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2001 very high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: large scale happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Climate change and severe weather storms and floods happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lake Dziani Boundouni Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 30 protected area contained by site 30  

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
hunting -
other -
Notes: Harvesting of non-timber forest products; charcoal manufacture.
not utilised -

Further web sources of information 

Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This site has been identified as an AZE due to it containing a Critically Endangered or Endangered species with a limited range.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Ndzuani highlands. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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