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Location Zimbabwe, Mashonaland Central
Central coordinates 31o 10.00' East  16o 30.00' South
IBA criteria A3
Area 57,500 ha
Altitude 600 - 1,628m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife Zimbabwe



Site description The Mavuradonha mountains form the eastern part of the Zambezi Escarpment in Zimbabwe, rising over 1,000 m above the Zambezi valley and peaking at Banirembizi. The mountains lie north of the town of Centenary, falling within the Muzarabani District. The mountains intercept the north-east winds and have a cooler, moister climate than the valley below. ‘Mavuradonha’ refers to the rain and mist. There are numerous streams and rivers rising in the mountains, flowing north to the Zambezi. The terrain is steep and rocky with elephant trails winding up and down the mountain. In the east, the Musengezi river has cut a gorge through the mountains, creating attractive scenery. The area holds a great deal of well-developed miombo woodland, with most of the representative species of Brachystegia and Julbernardia. There are also gully, ravine or ‘kloof’ woodlands, with higher soil moisture and nutrients, providing a greater range of microhabitats. Large forest trees such as Khaya anthotheca occur, but are scattered and in low numbers.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. The mountains are known for their variety and density of raptors; atlas records show 38 species (including owls). Of particular interest are Hieraaetus ayresii, Stephanoaetus coronatus, Circaetus cinerascens, Falco peregrinus and F. naumanni. The Zambezian biome species (particularly those of the miombo) are well represented.

Non-bird biodiversity: The Wilderness Area is a refuge for Loxodonta africana (EN), Syncerus caffer (LR/cd), Panthera leo (VU) and a variety of antelope. The vegetation is poorly studied but it may hold some unusual species dependent on a high-moisture regime.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Racquet-tailed Roller Coracias spatulatus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Tit Parus griseiventris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Wren-warbler Camaroptera undosa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Meves's Glossy-starling Lamprotornis mevesii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Black-chat Myrmecocichla arnoti resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Boulder Chat Pinarornis plumosus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Rock-thrush Monticola angolensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia talatala resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia manoensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah Vidua obtusa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-eared Seedeater Serinus mennelli resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed low
unset
Unknown

Energy production and mining mining and quarrying happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Mavuradona Sanctuary 195 protected area contained by site 195  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   9%
Shrubland   27%
Forest   62%

Land use

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

References Timberlake (1996), Timberlake et al. (1993).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mavuradonha Mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2014

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