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Location Tanzania, Kigoma
Central coordinates 29o 50.00' East  6o 12.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 161,300 ha
Altitude 500 - 2,578m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description The National Park occupies the mountainous bulge that protrudes into Lake Tanganyika along its eastern shoreline. The mainly grass-covered mountain ridge that runs parallel to the lake is forested in parts with rich gallery forest extending down the many watercourses. Some of these forested valleys have extensive stands of bamboo. The lower slopes are cloaked in tall Brachystegia woodland which dominates the western and drier eastern areas. The south-western and southern tip of the peninsular are dominated by smaller Brachystegia woodland.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The area is relatively poorly known ornithologically. A draft species list includes only 214 species, reflecting a paucity of fieldwork rather than low species-richness. These include three Guinea–Congo Forests biome species (see Table 3). There is some evidence that this site has ornithological affinities with the highlands of the Albertine Rift rather than the Ufipa plateau in south-western Tanzania. An endemic subspecies of the globally threatened Apalis argentea is present at the site. Endemic subspecies of Phyllastrephus flavostriatus, Andropadus tephrolaemus, Platysteira concreta, Alethe poliocephala, Sheppardia bocagei and Phylloscopus ruficapilla, and an endemic race of Nectarinia regia also occur. A new subspecies of Anthoscopus caroli was described from the site in the 1960s. The highland-forest Poeoptera stuhlmanni is only known in Tanzania from Mahali, as is the enigmatic Bradypterus alfredi.

Non-bird biodiversity: The park was created to protect a large population of Pan trogolodytes (EN).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Buteo oreophilus resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Dusky Turtle-dove Streptopelia lugens resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scarce Swift Schoutedenapus myoptilus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater Merops oreobates resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Campethera tullbergi resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Oriole Oriolus percivali resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Apalis argentea resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Not Recognised 
Eastern Mountain Greenbul Andropadus nigriceps resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mountain Illadopsis Illadopsis pyrrhoptera resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Hill Babbler Pseudoalcippe abyssinica resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sharpe's Starling Cinnyricinclus sharpii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Waller's Starling Onychognathus walleri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Stuhlmann's Starling Poeoptera stuhlmanni resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-bellied Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia fuelleborni resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Regal Sunbird Nectarinia regia resident  2000  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Bronze Sunbird Nectarinia kilimensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-capped Weaver Ploceus insignis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-faced Crimson-wing Cryptospiza reichenovii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-browed Citril Serinus frontalis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-faced Citril Serinus hypostictus resident  2000  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Serinus striolatus resident  2000  unknown  A3  Not Recognised 
Thick-billed Seedeater Serinus burtoni resident  2000  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Oriole Finch Linurgus olivaceus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2002 low favourable low
  Habitat
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

No known threats no known threats happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Forest   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Unknown  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Mahale National Park 16,130,000 protected area contained by site 161,300  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   5%
Shrubland   7%
Forest   87%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

References Moreau (1941, 1943), Ulfstrand (1960b), Ulfstrand and Lamprey (1960), Williams (1950).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mahali Mountain National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2014

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