The site comprises tall miombo woodland, interspersed with poorly drained grassy patches and grassy drainage lines, on the central plateau around the town of Caconda. No detailed climatic data for the area are available, but the site is situated in the 1,200 mm isohyet. The woodlands are dominated by Brachystegia spiciformis and Julbernardia paniculata, with B. floribunda, B. boehmii, B. wangermeeana and B. gossweileri locally dominant. Grasses of the genera Andropogon, Trachypogon and Tristachya occur in the narrow drainage lines, with Loudetia simplex dominant. The canopy is more or less continuous and the height varies from 4 m to 12 m. There is a sparse to moderate cover of shrubs and grass below the canopy, with wide breaks in the woodland along the drainage lines. These latter areas are generally fringed with scattered Uapaca, Piliostigma and Erythrina trees. Patches of nutrient-rich soil (old village sites) occur within the miombo woodland, usually with pioneer Acacia species and Dichrostachys cinerea trees. Burkea africana and Monotes species occur on sandy patches (probably previously cleared areas), further increasing the structural diversity of the woodland. There are no current data available on the condition of the woodland, or of the area generally.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The importance of the site lies in the high species-richness of Zambezian-biome species, but the avifauna of the area is virtually unstudied, and most of the current knowledge is derived from collected specimens. Many records from the site date back to the late 1800s, although there has been relatively recent fieldwork (collecting) done in the Caconda area (Pinto 1970) and to the south of the area (Dean 1974); Dean et al. 1988). Nevertheless, the avifauna is rich, and includes all of the Brachystegia endemics listed by Benson and Irwin (1966) and at least 35 biome-restricted species, out of the total of 235 bird species that have been collected in the area (the full species list is likely to be substantially larger).Dioptrornis brunneus, a restricted-range species, is a frequently encountered resident, and two species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome and two of the Afrotropical Highlands biome have also been recorded from the site.
Non-bird biodiversity: There are no current data on the status of the large carnivores, but Lycaon pictus (EN) and Panthera leo (VU) have been recorded in the past (Cabral 1987; Cabral and Simões 1988). Bats that have been collected at this site include Epomophorus angolensis (LR/nt) (Cabral 1989).
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Caconda. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/09/2020.