This is one of the few outliers of Guinea–Congo forest in Angola that occurs south of Cabinda, and the forest is probably most extensively developed in this general area (Airy Shaw 1947). Rainfall exceeds 1,400 mm per year. The dry season is from June to September, but the relative humidity remains high (at about 80%) throughout the year. Tree species include Ceiba pentandra, Bombax reflexum, at least seven species of Ficus, Chlorophora excelsa, Pterocarpus, Khaya, Elaeis, Newtonia, Albizia, Entandophragma and (surprisingly) Adansonia digitata in dry areas. Oil-palms Elaeis guineensis are common along watercourses and on the edges of clearings. According to Airy Shaw (1947), wild coffee shrubs (Coffea canephora and C. welwitschii) originally formed part of the understorey of these forests, but have long been replaced by commercial coffee cultivars. Arboreal creepers (Combretaceae and Platycerium) and climbing ferns (Gleichenia) are common in the forest. Creeping ferns on the forest floor include Microlepsis, Pteris, Tectaria and Marattia.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The site has a rich forest avifauna, and at least 216 species have been collected in the Camabatela area. The site is rich in species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome. Rare, biome-restricted species collected in the Camabatela–Canzele–Bolongongo area include Dryotriorchis spectabilis, Spizaetus africanus and Poicephalus gulielmi, while the scarce Agapornis pullaria, known from only a few sites in northern Angola, is likely to occur. Other poorly known species that occur in this area include Cercococcyx mechowi, Cercococcyx olivinus, Centropus anselli, Ceyx lecontei, Corythornis leucogaster, Illadopsis fulvescens and I. albipectus, with Illadopsis rufipennis, currently known only from Cabinda and northern Cuanza Norte likely to occur. Three species of the Zambezian biome have been recorded from this site, and Pseudoalcippe abyssinica, a forest species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome, is present at higher elevations. Two orioles, Oriolus brachyrhynchus and O. nigripennis, occur in the lowland forest, with a third species, O. auratus, present in adjacent woodlands.
Non-bird biodiversity: The antelope fauna should include such species as Cephalophus nigrifrons (LR/nt) and C. sylvicultor (LR/nt).
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Camabatela. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 15/01/2021.