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Location Malawi, Central
Central coordinates 33o 30.00' East  14o 25.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 98,934 ha
Altitude 1,300 - 1,650m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM) (Affiliate)



Site description Dzalanyama Forest Reserve, 60 km south-west of Lilongwe, is almost entirely covered with Brachystegia–Julbernardia woodland. It forms part of the Dzalanyama Range, a series of rocky hills running north-west–south-east along the border with Mozambique, which marks the watershed between Lake Malawi and the Zambezi river system. The eastern side of the reserve is relatively flat, at about 1,300 m. The hills to the west rise above 1,500 m with several peaks over 1,600 m. A few small patches (c.75 ha) of mid-altitude forest occur on the highest ridge near Kasito Rock. Dambos occur along many of the drainage lines, breaking the continuity of the woodland cover. A PinusEucalyptus plantation has been established in the reserve and covers about 5% of the land area. On the Mozambique side, the woodland extends uninterrupted over a much larger area with little sign of human settlement evident.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. Over 290 species have been recorded. There are a few records of Falco naumanni. The Zambezian biome species include Dendropicos stierlingi and Ploceus olivaceiceps, both of which are widespread in the reserve. A dambo in Dzalanyama is the only site in Malawi where Sarothrura lugens has been recorded, and Pinarornis plumosus is known from few other localities in the country. In addition, one species of the Tanzania–Malawi mountains EBA, five of the Afrotropical Highlands biome and one of the East African Coast biome have been recorded at this site (see Tables 2 and 3).

Non-bird biodiversity: Butterflies: an isolated population of Cymothoe coranus occurs (the most westerly known).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Whyte's Barbet Stactolaema whytii resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Pied Barbet Tricholaema frontata resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pale-billed Hornbill Lophoceros pallidirostris resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Stierling's Woodpecker Dendropicos stierlingi resident  1999  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Souza's Shrike Lanius souzae resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-bellied Tit Parus rufiventris resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Tit Parus griseiventris resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Wren-warbler Camaroptera undosa resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-capped Crombec Sylvietta ruficapilla resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Scrub-robin Erythropygia barbata resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Black-chat Myrmecocichla arnoti resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Boulder Chat Pinarornis plumosus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Rock-thrush Monticola angolensis resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Boehm's Flycatcher Muscicapa boehmi resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Anchieta's Sunbird Anthreptes anchietae resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia manoensis resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shelley's Sunbird Nectarinia shelleyi resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-headed Weaver Ploceus olivaceiceps resident  1999  present  A3  Near Threatened 
Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah Vidua obtusa resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-eared Seedeater Serinus mennelli resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high near favourable medium
Habitat
Unknown

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Forest   0 0 good (> 90%) moderate (70-90%) near favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Dzalanyama Forest Reserve 98,934 is identical to site 98,934  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   3%
Shrubland   3%
Forest   92%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
tourism/recreation -
water management -
other -
Notes: Firewood collection; local wood-cutting.

References Dowsett-Lemaire (1989a, b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dzalanyama Forest Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/12/2014

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