Quiçama National Park extends along 110 km of the Angolan coast, with the estuary of the Cuanza river forming the north-western boundary of the park. It holds a diversity of bird habitats, including the most southerly patch of extensive mangrove forest in the country (in the Cuanza estuary), the extensive Cuanza flood-plain, dense communities of raffia palm Raphia on permanently waterlogged islands in the river, lowland riverine forests, rank flooded grassy patches, reedbeds, swamps and extensive sandbars along the Cuanza river, extensive grasslands on the plateau, dry baobab-acacia (Adansonia-Acacia) woodland in the east of the park, and patches of broadleaved woodland. Dense thickets of Chrysobalanus, Drepanocarpus, Dalbergia, Leguncularia and Hibiscus occur along the river upstream from the mouth (Huntley and Matos 1994). The flood-plain of the lower Cuanza river has extensive communities of papyrus Cyperus, with Typha, Echinochloa and Phragmites on the margins.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The avifauna has not been well-studied and the total number of species occurring at the site is likely to be higher than the 186 species that have been observed and collected. However, the park is relatively rich in globally threatened and restricted-range species. Phoenicopterus minor, Morus capensis and Sterna balaenarum are non-breeding visitors, the latter two in winter to inshore coastal waters. Francolinus griseostriatus, Platysteira albifrons and Euplectes aureus are frequently encountered residents, and probably breed. The avifauna of the eastern forest and lowland riverine forest in Quiçama is poorly known, but it is thought that some restricted-range species of forest may occur there, e.g. the globally threatened Laniarius brauni, which is a rare resident at Dondo, just outside the park boundary.
Non-bird biodiversity: The mammal fauna includes Trichechus senegalensis (VU), which occurs in the lower course of the river, and large carnivores such as Lycaon pictus (EN), Acinonyx jubatus (VU) and Panthera leo (VU) (Cabral 1987; Cabral and Simões 1988). Up to the early 1970s the park had fairly robust populations of Loxodonta africana (EN) (Huntley 1974a), but the current status of the large herbivore populations is not known. Marine turtles nest on the park coast (Huntley 1974a).
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Quiçama. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/04/2021.