These two Forest Reserves (at 11°50’S 33°43’E and 12°02’S 33°38’E respectively) are situated on the western edge of the South Viphya Plateau, on gently undulating terrain; Mtangatanga is to the north of Perekezi, 10 km distant. They preserve fine examples of high-altitude, mossy Brachystegia (miombo) woodland; Brachystegia taxifolia is dominant locally and forms a closed canopy, with some evergreen shrubs in the understorey. Epiphytic orchids and lichens are abundant. Under the closed canopy the ground is devoid of grass, but is mossy and it appears that large sections of this transition woodland never burn; small patches of evergreen forest have developed in sheltered gullies.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. Some 172 species have been recorded so far; the Zambezian biome species include Ploceus olivaceiceps. The overall range of P. olivaceiceps is centred in Malawi but, at the present rate of destruction of mid-altitude miombo, the species is unlikely to survive in the medium-term outside of some Forest and Wildlife Reserves. These two reserves are a good example of the prime habitat favoured by this species; more Zambezian birds may be expected to be found on further exploration. In addition, two species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome occur in small forest patches (see Table 3).
Non-bird biodiversity: Vegetation: there is a rich flora of epiphytic orchids; this type of high-altitude miombo is poorly documented in Malawi and floristic exploration should be encouraged.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mtangatanga and Perekezi Forest Reserves. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/02/2023.