Mutinondo Wilderness

Country/territory: Zambia

IBA criteria met: A1, A3 (2005)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 10,000 ha

BirdWatch Zambia
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2010 not assessed not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2005 baseline)
This private conservation area protects a beutiful tract of wild and undisturbed terrain south of Mpika, lying between the Great North Road and the Muchinga Escarpment. The vegetation is predominantly miombo (Covering c. 80% of the site) with particularly high incidence of proteas, epiphytic orchids and lichens such as Usnea. However, the area is characterized by granite whaleback inselbergs. Particularly numerous within the IBA, these cover about 7.5% of the and range from small outcrops to imposing mountains. The tallest, at 1685m, is Mount Mayense which sits in the southern-eastern corner of the property. Mutindo's Inselbergs have their own vegetation, dominated by Xerophyta equisetoides and shrubs such as Vernonia bellinghamii, Ozoroa reticulata subsp. insignis and Iboza riparia. Characteristic species of the rock surface are Myrothamnus flabellifolius, the mat-forming sedge Coleochloa setifera, and tussock grasses such as Microchloa indica and Loudetia simplex. Inselbergs seepage sites include ferns,sedges and semi-aquatics such as Drosera spp. and Xyris spp. There are may dambos (covering about 9.4% of the site), some rather dry with numerous small Cubitermes termite mounds and others spongy and permanently wet.These drain into several rivers along which there are waterfalls, thin strips of riparian forest and occasional patches of mushitu. Such forests cover about 3.1% of the area and dominant trees include Syzygium cordatum, Agauria salicifolia and Uapaca lissopyrena. The botanical diversity is high and initial surveys have recorded more than 400 species. An enourmous area of similarly undisturbed country sorrounds the site and neighbouring local residents have expressed an interest in creating a much larger conservation area around the IBA.

Key biodiversity
Many Zambezian endemics and near-endemics occur in the miombo such as Miombo Rock Thrush and Sousa's Shrike and other intersting species include Thick-billed Cuckoo and Green-backed Honeyguide. Anchieta's and Whyte's Barbets can both be found, Bar-winged weaver is relatively common and stipe-breasted Seed-eater remarkbly abundant. Ten species of sunbrds have been recorded and particularly common are Red-and -blue, Violet-backed and Miombo Double-collared. Around the inselbergs are Freckled Rock-Nightjar, Mocking chat and Rock-loving Cisticola. The Muchinga Escarpment would appear to be an important flight path for migratory birds and species such as White Stork,Lesser Spotted Eagle and Steppe Eagle are regular during passage periods. Many other raptors have been recorded including Martila Eagle and Africam Hobby. European and African Marsh Harriers are both frequent over the dambos wher other typical species include Blue Quail, Long-toed Fluftail, Natal Nightjar, Broad-tailed Warbler, Stout Cisticola, Marsh Whydah and Locust Finch. African Black Duck, African Finfoot, Half-coloured Kingfisher and Mountain Wagtail are resident along the rivers and Grey-Olive Bulbul and Bar-throated Apalis are found in the riparian forest.Mushitu species include Bocage's Robin, White-tailed Crested Flycather and Green Twinspot. There are old records of Taita Falcon from nearby but there are no records from the IBA.

Non-bird biodiversity: A wide variety of mammals have been recorded, although numbers remain relatively low. The area surronding the IBA is equally undisturbed and its hoped that many animals will recolonise (particularly from the Luangwa Valley in the east) without the need for restocking or fencing. species that apear to be resident include Roan and Sable Antelopes, Southern Reedbuck, Klipspringer, Sharpes Grysbok, Harebeest, Sitatunga,Leopard,Bush pig and Warthog. Smith's Red Rock hare and Chequared Elephant Shrew have been reported on several occasions and both are on the very edge of their range. 126 species of butterfly have been recorded to date including poorly known species such as Abantis bamptoni and Kadestes lema, the very localised Zeritis sorhagenii, the only Zambian record of Pilodeudorix bemba and an undescribed species of Charaxes. The recent find of a single specimen of cycad Encephalartos schmitzii represents a considerable extension of the known range in Zambia.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Mutinondo Wilderness. Downloaded from on 01/03/2024.