This poorly known National Park lies close to the Malawi border and about 70 km north of Chipata. Most of the park lies at plateau level or over the escarpment and as a result it is dominated by miombo. Of the various miombo formations, the richest are to be found in the eastern half where broad dambos run through the woodland. In many areas towards and across the escarpment, the woodland becomes thin or stunted, although here the drainage lines become well-defined rocky streams along which patches of riparian forest and thicket may be found. Granite outcrops can be found through much of the park, some of which are very large, and patches of mopane occur at lower altitudes. There is a single road running from west to east from which one or two vague tracks have been made by licensed aquamarine miners, but there are no tourist facilities.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The area is poorly known, but holds a wealth of miombo birds, and is one of the few areas from which Ploceus olivaceiceps is known, although this species would seem to be highly localized within the park (being dependent on significant quantities of the lichen Usnea). This species is also known from several localities just beyond the park’s eastern boundary, but none offers realistic long-term protection. Other species include Coracias spatulatus, Tockus pallidirostris, Tricholaema frontata, Lanius souzae, Monticola angolensis, Cercotrichas barbata, Sylvietta ruficapilla, Muscicapa boehmi, Nectarinia manoensis, Plocepasser rufoscapulatus and Neocichla gutturalis. Macronyx croceus is common in the dambos and along the streams are Anas sparsa and Alcedo semitorquata. Falco naumanni is probably a regular passage migrant.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The small-scale mining of aquamarine has decreased as licence fees have risen, and this industry would seem to present no threat to the park at current levels. Large mammals are sparse and illegal hunting continues, although it seems unlikely that the birdlife is at risk. There would appear to be some clearance of miombo in peripheral areas near villages and, although the areas concerned are small, the problem requires investigation.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lukususi National Park. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2022.