The site lies north and north-east of the town of Buco-Zau, in the Maiombe forest on the watershed of the Chiloango and Loémé rivers (Congo). No specific climatic data are available for the site, but it lies within the 1,200 mm isohyet. The moist forests in the area have a rich and robust flora, with a very high canopy (c.50 m) and poor undergrowth with very few grasses. Dominant trees are Gilletiodendron, Librevillea, Tetraberlinia and Julbernardia. There is an abundance of flowers and fruit throughout the year and frugivorous mammals and birds are common. The undergrowth has been replaced with coffee in the southern parts of the region, but current coffee production is likely to be low, and the forests are probably relatively undisturbed by people.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The site has the highest number of species in Angola that are restricted to the Guinea–Congo Forests biome but, apart from 301 specimens collected in the general area during the late 1800s (Sharpe and Bouvier 1876a, 1876b, 1877, 1878) and during the late 1960s by the IICA (Pinto 1972), the avifauna is virtually unstudied. Despite this, the bird fauna is clearly species-rich, and significantly more species probably await discovery. Three species characteristic of the Zambezian biome, and one of the Afrotropical Highlands biome, also occur.
Non-bird biodiversity: The forest generally lacks grazing antelope, but browsers such as Hyemoschus aquaticus (DD), Cephalophus sylvicultor (LR/nt), C. nigrifrons (LR/nt) and C. dorsalis (LR/nt) occur. The primates include Gorilla gorilla (EN) and Pan troglodytes (EN).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Maiombe. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/01/2023.