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Stapleford Forest is south of the Honde valley, c.50 km north-east of Mutare, near the village of Penhalonga and forms part of the eastern border of Zimbabwe with Mozambique. It is under commercial forestry plantations controlled by the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe, and falls within the Mutasa Rural District Council. The Mutasa Communal Land forms the northern and western borders of Stapleford. The highest point of 2,030 m (Mt Rupere) in the west of Stapleford forms a watershed, with the Odzani river flowing south-west and the Nyamahwarara river flowing north-east.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The area of Nyamahwarara valley has been a well-known site for past avifaunal collections. Stapleford is the type-locality for six subspecies of bird endemic to Zimbabwe. Stapleford supports six globally threatened or restricted-range species. About eight pairs of Hirundo atrocaerulea are known to breed on nearby Mountain Home Estate, but it is not known how many birds breed on Stapleford. One pair of Grus carunculatus was sighted in an aerial survey in 1983. There is no known checklist of birds for this estate and records have been taken from the Atlas Records.
Non-bird biodiversity: Little is known of the occurrence of non-bird species and this is clearly an area for more fieldwork and research. There are numerous specimens of the cycad Encephalartos manikensis (Rare) at the forest-edge.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Stapleford Forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/12/2021.