The Project & Kumbira

“The Kumbira Forest Project” aims at protecting forests for the benefit of Threatened Angolan birds. A significant part of this work, and currently the main focus of this project, is a research towards my PhD thesis, entitled: “Effects of deforestation and forest degradation on the endemism-rich bird communities of the Angolan Scarp Forests”. The main objectives are to:
  • Assess the historical changes in land-use and their effect on biodiversity.
  • Evaluate the relationship between local avian diversity and different land-uses.
  • Establish bird responses and adaptability to human-caused changes.
  • Propose strategies (such as REDD+) to assure the conservation of bird species and forests.
All this will be done in order to produce science-based guidelines for the management and conservation of the Angolan Scarp Forest.

The project will be conducted in Kumbira Forest, the largest remaining and single most representative area of the central Angolan Scarp. It is located in the Gabela/Conda area of the Kwanza Sul province and hosts significant populations of three of the four Endangered central scarp endemics (Mills 2010).
Location of Kumbira Forest (green) in the Kwanza Sul province. Map made by A.Cáceres with QGis 

This forest occurs in a narrow belt at an altitude of 750 to 1250 meters above sea level. The habitat varies from moist, tall forests to drier and more tangled forests, and includes small  patches of Afromontane forests in gullies at higher altitude (Mills 2010). Most, if not all, of the forest is secondary, with large areas of low intensity agricultural such as abandoned coffee plantations, which have a canopy of tall trees and an understorey composed of native shrubs and old coffee plants (Sekercioglu and Riley 2005).
Abandoned plantation with high canopy trees in Kumbira
The most common tree species in Kumbira are Albizia gummifera, Kigelia africana, Ceiba speciosa, Celtis africana, Morus alba, Erithryna abyssinica, Sphatodea campanulata, Commiphora edulis, Ficus sp., Ptaeroxylon obliquum, Diospyrus lycioides, Sterculia sp. and Shizophiton rautanenii. Many secondary forests are dominated by Bersama abyssinica. According to the local population this species was planted in the area in order to obtain wood for construction and charcoal. Stands of Grevillea robusta are also found in some areas of Kumbira. This species was probably planted to provide extra shade to plantations of Coffea canephora and Coffea welwitschii (F. Maiato pers. com.).

* Mills, M. 2010. Angola’s central scarp forests: patterns of bird diversity and conservation threats. Biodiversity and Conservation 19:1883-1903.
* Sekercioglu, Ç. and A. Riley. 2005. A brief survey of the birds in Kumbira Forest, Gabela, Angola. Ostrich 76:111-117.

No comments:

Post a Comment