The area lies at the northernmost tip of the North Western Province, extending southwards and eastwards from the borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola (in the north and west) towards Muhonge Local Forest (No. 73). Miombo dominates the vegetation, but there are a few patches of grassland and, most importantly, a network of streams that are lined with moist evergreen forest.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The area holds many species that are endemic to the Guinea–Congo Forests biome. Those with the most restricted ranges in Zambia include Sarothrura pulchra, Alcedo leucogaster, Campethera caroli, Bias flammulatus and Platysteira castanea. Ploceus superciliosus probably breeds in areas where forest and grassland meet and Ptyrticus turdinus would appear to be sparse. A wide range of Zambezian biome endemics also occur. One species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome is present: Bradypterus alfredi.
Non-bird biodiversity: These are among the most notable forests in Zambia, as they hold many taxa typical of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome. Much of the fauna has a highly restricted distribution in Zambia. Snakes include Philothamnus carinatus, Causus lichtensteinii and Thelotornis kirtlandii. Several species of dragonfly are endemic to the area.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
About 90% of the site is unprotected but, due to its proximity to Angola, it is much more sparsely populated than surrounding areas, where many forests have been cleared for small-scale farming. The broad mushitus found at headwaters in this region probably represented the areas of greatest biodiversity, yet these are particularly favoured for cultivation and virtually none remain. Within the site, much of the gallery forest is presently undisturbed, but action is urgently required to protect it.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Jimbe Drainage. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 17/05/2021.