|Central coordinates||34o 5.00' East 18o 25.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||400 - 1,863m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Gorongosa mountain makes up less than 10% of the extent of this site, but is the most important part because most of the species which are of conservation interest are concentrated here. Swynnertonia swynnertoni, Apalis chirindensis and Anthreptes reichenowi are resident in the evergreen forests, while the montane grassland may hold Hirundo atrocaerulea, although this has not been confirmed yet. The mountain is widely known as the only locality where Oriolus chlorocephalus occurs in southern Africa. Three species of the Zambezian biome occur at the site. The wetlands in the National Park have not been comprehensively surveyed, and may support numbers of waterbirds which exceed 1% threshold levels. Gallinago media has been reported here and the wetlands are possibly an important wintering ground for the species. Balearica regulorum, which is threatened within southern Africa, occurs regularly in the wetlands.
Site description Gorongosa mountain is a massive inselberg rising out of the coastal plain. Habitat consists of Brachystegia woodland on the lower slopes, dense evergreen forests at altitudes between 1,200 and 1,500 m, and montane grassland at the summit, with forest patches in the ravines. Many of the lower slopes have been cleared for agriculture, but the higher reaches constitute a sacred site for local inhabitants and, as such, enjoy some measure of protection. The adjoining national park consists of a large plain with deciduous woodland and extensive marshes and lakes.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Great Snipe Gallinago media||winter||-||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Boehm's Bee-eater Merops boehmi||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Zululand Batis Batis fratrum||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pale Batis Batis soror||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Green-headed Oriole Oriolus chlorocephalus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-tailed Crested-flycatcher Elminia albonotata||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea||breeding||1999||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Vulnerable|
|Chirinda Apalis Apalis chirindensis||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Stripe-cheeked Greenbul Andropadus milanjensis||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Tiny Greenbul Phyllastrephus debilis||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-bellied Glossy-starling Lamprotornis corruscus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|White-chested Alethe Alethe fuelleborni||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Swynnerton's Robin Swynnertonia swynnertoni||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2, A3||Vulnerable|
|Plain-backed Sunbird Anthreptes reichenowi||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A3||Near Threatened|
|Red-faced Crimson-wing Cryptospiza reichenovii||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Lesser Seedcracker Pyrenestes minor||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah Vidua obtusa||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Gorongosa||National Park||375,000||protected area contained by site||375,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Firewood collection.|
Other biodiversity The plains supported high numbers of larger mammals in the past, including Loxodonta africana (EN). These have been extirpated by hunting but reintroductions are planned.
Management considerations The mountain is not officially protected, but the higher reaches enjoy some protection by local residents for whom it is a sacred site. The incorporation of this site into the adjoining Gorongosa National Park has been proposed. The site is renowned among birders in southern Africa, and has the potential to attract large numbers of visitors if infrastructure for tourism were to be developed, and thus generate the funds necessary to protect the site and provide alternative employment for subsistence farmers whose fields are presently encroaching on the montane forests. The national park became defunct during the civil war, but rehabilitation has been under way since 1992.
References Clancey (1996), Pinto (1959).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gorongosa Mountain and National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2013
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