The site lies on the Cuango river north of the town of Cuango, within the 1,400 mm isohyet. The vegetation consists of narrow belts of well-developed gallery forest along the Cuango river and tall grasslands with scattered trees on the surrounding plains. Tree genera in the gallery forest include Piptadeniastrum, Chlorophora, Ceiba and Xylopia and canopy heights are generally 30–40 m (Huntley 1974a). Grass genera include Hyparrhenia, Andropogon, Trachypogon and Loudetia, and the open woodland on the plains includes such tree genera as Strychnos, Hymenocardia, Annona, Piliostigma and Combretum, and patches of miombo woodland, dominated by Brachystegia and Julbernardia, occur in the general area.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The diverse habitats support a rich avifauna, with the species list likely to be considerably higher than the 156 species collected in the area. The site is important for several species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome that have not been recorded frequently elsewhere in Angola. A number of rare or poorly known species have been collected in the area, including Columba iriditorques, Psittacus erithacus, Tockus fasciatus, Tockus pallidirostris and Ceratogymna subcylindricus. This is one of the most eastern sites where the endemic Colius castanotus occurs. The wetland habitats along the Cuango river support at least 12 species of congregatory waterbird (8% of the Angolan list), some in numbers considered at least nationally important. There is a single record of Ardeola idae from this site (Pinto 1973a).
Non-bird biodiversity: No complete list of mammals is available. The diverse antelope fauna includes such species as Cephalophus nigrifrons (LR/nt), C. sylvicultor (LR/nt) and Tragelaphus spekei (LR/nt).
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cuango. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/10/2020.