Two distinct bird communities exist in Mozambique with the boundary between them coinciding more or less with the Zambezi river. North of the Zambezi, birdlife is largely shared with that of East Africa whilst south of the Zambezi, it is characteristic of South Africa.
Four Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) overlap with Mozambique: South African forests; South-East African coast; Eastern Zimbabwe mountains; and Tanzania-Malawi mountains. The four Mozambican species of the South-East African coast EBA all have more than half of their global populations within Mozambique: Rudd's Apalis Apalis ruddi; Neergaard's Sunbird Cinnyris neergaardi; Pink-throated Twinspot Hypargos margaritatus; and Lemon-breasted Canary Serinus citrinipectus.
Three major biomes meet in Mozambique: Afrotropical Highlands which holds 30 of the 226 restricted range species; East African Coast with 25 of the 36 restricted range species and Zambezian with 26 of the 67 characteristic species.
The long coastline with extensive intertidal flats, major lowland rivers and flood-plains and the abundance of marshes and lakes all make the country important for waterbirds. The coastal habitats provide wintering grounds for large numbers of Palearctic migrants.
There are 15 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) designated by BirdLife International in Mozambique covering approximately 13,890 km2 - see reference (i). One site is fully protected, 5 are partly protected and the remaining 9 are unprotected. The IBAs are as follows:
|Maputo Special Reserve|
|Changelane river gorge|
|Panda Brachystegia woodlands|
|Zambezi river delta|
|Gorongosa Mountain and National Park|
|Headwaters of the Cahora Bassa Dam|
For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.