Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Mahali Mountain National Park
29o 50.00' East 6o 12.00' South
A1, A2, A3
500 - 2,578m
Year of IBA assessment
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).