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The Angolan montane forest-grassland mosaic ecoregion is located on the east-facing inland side of the belt of mountains that stands parallel to the coast of Angola, 50-100km inland.

Contents

Location and description

These inland slopes are mostly covered with grassland and savanna. The woodland once covered a much larger area but today only patches survive, mainly in deep ravines and on the higher peaks in Huambo and Cuanza Sul provinces and on the Serra de Chella in Huíla Province.

The area has a wet summer and some mist and rainfall year-round so water is fairly abundant though in the dry season obtainable in some places only by digging in the sandy beds of the rivers. [1]

Flora

In the dry season fires are common and the dry grasses burn and are then renewed. The trees are not so vulnerable to fire. The woodland flora has similarities with other mountain ranges spread across Africa. Plants on the inland ridge include the shrubs such as Erica's, sugarbushes (Protea) and Cliffortias, and grasses Themeda triandra, Tristachyas, Hyparrhenias, Festucas, and Monocymbium.

Fauna

The fauna includes a number of bird species unique to the highlands such as Boulton's Batis (Batis margaritae), Swierstra's Francolin (Francolinus swierstra), Angola Cave-chat (Xenocopsychus ansorgei) Grey-striped Francolin (Francolinus griseostriatus) and Angola Slaty Flycatcher (Dioptrornis brunneus). Some of these species have close relatives in other forests of the continent, more indication that this woodland was once much more widespead. The hills were home to large mammals such as zebras and antelopes until recently.

Threats

The highlands are one of the most heavily populated parts of Angola so the woodland is vulnerable to clearance for logging, while some of the grassland, except where it is very swampy, is being cleared for agriculture. Furthermore the mountains have been the scene of much conflict and poverty during the Angolan Civil War and as a consequence the wildlife has been little studied or protected. Towns and cities in this region include Huambo. [2]

See also

References

  1. ^ National Geographic
  2. ^ http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/at/at1001_full.html

External links

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