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Location Mozambique, Maputo
Central coordinates 32o 7.00' East  26o 20.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 4,000 ha
Altitude 200 - 500m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The site lies within the Libombo mountain range, a rhyolite ridge running along the frontier between Mozambique and Swaziland. It includes steep hillsides, a gorge through which the Changelane river flows and a large cliff-face at the joint confluence of the streams Timbogoloene and Mizinandjovo with the Changelane river. The vegetation consists of coastal forest (on the steeper slopes), woodland and savanna. The area is inhabited by itinerant charcoal manufacturers in temporary dwellings, and by subsistence farmers in fewer than 10 more permanent homesteads.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. A colony of 10–15 pairs of the globally threatened Gyps coprotheres breeds on the one substantial cliff-face in the Changelane river gorge. Foraging opportunities for the species in this part of Mozambique are severely limited, due to the lack of game and livestock. The birds forage mostly in the nearby Mlawula/Hlane wildlife complex in Swaziland. The proposed reintroduction of game into the Maputo Special Reserve (IBA MZ001) would provide additional foraging opportunities for the species within Mozambique. The site holds three species of the Zambezian biome and two of the Afromontane Highlands biome (Table 3).

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International. Larger mammals which used to occur in the area have been exterminated by hunting.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres resident  10-15 breeding pairs  A1  Endangered 
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 
Mouse-coloured Sunbird Nectarinia veroxii resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pink-throated Twinspot Hypargos margaritatus resident  1999  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Lemon-breasted Seedeater Serinus citrinipectus resident  1999  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   100%

Land use

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

References Clancey (1996), Parker (1994a, b, 1997, 1999).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Changelane river gorge. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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