The Uvidunda mountains form the wedge of high ground between the northern end of the Udzungwa mountains (TZ011 and TZ066) and the southern edge of the Rubeho mountains (TZ064). A single raised block with three distinct peaks, the plateau drains in all directions into tributaries of the Great Ruaha river which flows eastwards along the southern edge of the mountains. The forest appears to be now largely confined to valleys, probably as a result of extensive burning and land clearance for agriculture. The term ‘vestigial forest’ was used for the area close to Chonwe as early as 1935. None of the forests in these mountains are listed as having reserve status, but Chonwe is listed as a ‘suggested’ Forest Reserve, but no details are available. Since there are no mapped forests, the IBA provisionally covers the whole plateau, but this includes villages and agricultural land.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The only known ornithological visits to this site were in 1935 and 1997, all to the Chonwe area. Both Onychognathus walleri and Poeoptera kenricki are likely to occur and Onychognathus tenuirostris will be present if suitable waterfall habitat exists. Podica senegalensis and Anas sparsa breed in the lower reaches of the streams and montane forest birds such as Linurgus olivaceus and Telophorus multicolor have been observed at Chonwe.
Non-bird biodiversity: Little information is available, but heavy hunting pressure has been reported, including of a surviving group of the primate Procolobus gordonorum (VU).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
It is unusual that none of the forests in this range have been gazetted as Forest Reserves. Repeated burning has confined the remaining forest to valleys and other small patches. These hills provide the water-supply to several large villages, a Tanzania Peoples Defence Force camp and parts of Mikumi village. Protection of the remaining forest is essential if the integrity of this water-supply is to be maintained.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Uvidunda Mountains. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 23/10/2021.