“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.
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).
|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.