|Location||Zimbabwe, Manicaland Province|
|Central coordinates||32o 51.96' East 18o 42.06' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||700 - 1,885m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Stapleford Forest is south of the Honde valley, c.50 km north-east of Mutare, near the village of Penhalonga and forms part of the eastern border of Zimbabwe with Mozambique. It is under commercial forestry plantations controlled by the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe, and falls within the Mutasa Rural District Council. The Mutasa Communal Land forms the northern and western borders of Stapleford. The highest point of 2,030 m (Mt Rupere) in the west of Stapleford forms a watershed, with the Odzani river flowing south-west and the Nyamahwarara river flowing north-east.The site includes the three areas of indigenous rainforest and Brachystegia woodland found within Stapleford. There is a fairly large patch of montane rainforest on the south-eastern slope of a steep-sided valley beneath Mt Rupere, next to the John Meikle Forest Research Station. It contains six different forest-types and many interesting species. The upper region consists of mainly Syzygium, with Podocarpus further down the slope and Craibia forest on boulder-scree. The area has not been checked from the ground so the exact size and site descriptions are not known. From vegetation maps, the forest and Brachystegia woodland appear to cover an area of c.1,400 ha.On the eastern border is a prominent mountain, Gurungwe, which peaks at 1,885 m and drops steeply to the Nyamahwarara valley at 700 m. This has a good example of mid-altitude forest with Maranthes and Khaya. Breonadia grows along stream banks. The top and eastern slopes of Mt Chinyamariro, to the south of Stapleford, have a well-developed Syzygium forest. Most of this forest belongs to Border Timbers, a commercial forest estate.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus||resident||1983||1 breeding pairs||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Olive Bush-shrike Telophorus olivaceus||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-tailed Crested-flycatcher Elminia albonotata||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea||breeding||1998||present||-||A1, A3||Vulnerable|
|Briar Warbler Prinia robertsi||resident||1998||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Chirinda Apalis Apalis chirindensis||resident||1998||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Stripe-cheeked Greenbul Andropadus milanjensis||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Orange Ground-thrush Zoothera gurneyi||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Swynnerton's Robin Swynnertonia swynnertoni||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2, A3||Vulnerable|
|White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bronze Sunbird Nectarinia kilimensis||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Gurney's Sugarbird Promerops gurneyi||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-faced Crimson-wing Cryptospiza reichenovii||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Stapleford||State Forest||24,600||protected area contained by site||24,600|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Grassland||Grassland - montane||minor|
|Wetlands (inland)||Rivers & streams||minor|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Little is known of the occurrence of non-bird species and this is clearly an area for more fieldwork and research. There are numerous specimens of the cycad Encephalartos manikensis (Rare) at the forest-edge.
References Irwin (1979), Muller (1994), Mundy et al. (1984).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Stapleford Forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2014
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