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Location Mozambique, Maputo
Central coordinates 32o 48.00' East  26o 27.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 104,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 30m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The site consists of the coastal plain lying between the Futi Channel and the Indian Ocean at the south end of the Bay of Maputo. It consists of a mosaic of forest, woodland, grassland, marshes and lakes. It forms the northern end of the IUCN-listed Maputaland Centre of Plant Endemism. The forest and woodland habitats are also represented in conservation areas in the adjacent part of South Africa, but it is only in this reserve that significant areas of the grassland habitats are protected. The impact of human activity in the area to date has been light, and much of the reserve is pristine. Between 500 and 1,300 inhabitants practise agriculture and fishing, under the control of reserve authorities.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Gyps coprotheres breeds nearby at the Changelane river gorge (IBA MZ002). It has not been reported at this IBA, although the reserve lies well within the foraging range of the species—the present low numbers of large mammals provide few foraging opportunities for it. Zoothera guttata has recently been discovered here and may be a breeding resident. Circaetus fasciolatus is a breeding resident, as is Nectarinia neergaardi, which is also a near-endemic to southern Mozambique, with more than 5% of its global population occurring at this site. Another restricted-range species here is Cercotrichas signata, of the South African forests EBA (EBA 089). The site also holds three species of the Zambezian biome and one of the Afrotropical Highlands biome (see Table 3). The extensive marshes and flooded grasslands hold notable numbers of rails/crakes and other marshland species, including Balearica regulorum and Turnix hottentota, while the lakes support large numbers of waterbirds (including Pelecanus onocrotalus and Mycteria ibis) on an irregular basis.

Non-bird biodiversity: The population of elephant Loxodonta africana (EN) is c.150.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres unknown  unknown  A1  Endangered 
Southern Banded Snake-eagle Circaetus fasciolatus resident  1999  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Brown-headed Parrot Poicephalus cryptoxanthus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Zululand Batis Batis fratrum resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Four-coloured Bush-shrike Telophorus quadricolor resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rudd's Apalis Apalis ruddi resident  1999  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Black-bellied Glossy-starling Lamprotornis corruscus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spotted Ground-thrush Zoothera guttata resident  1999  present  A1  Endangered 
Mouse-coloured Sunbird Nectarinia veroxii resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Neergaard's Sunbird Nectarinia neergardi resident  1999  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Pink-throated Twinspot Hypargos margaritatus resident  1999  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Maputo Special Reserve 90,000 protected area contained by site 90,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   4%
Wetlands (inland)   2%
Shrubland   3%
Grassland   6%
Forest   83%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

References Clancey (1996), Parker (1999), Parker and de Boer (2000), Tello (1973), Van Wyk (1994).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Maputo Special Reserve. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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