Mount Nállume

Monte Nállume

MOZTIPA018
Mount Nállume

Country: Mozambique

Administrative region: Nampula (Province)

Central co-ordinates: 15.0565 S, 38.54674 E

Area: 120km²

Qualifying IPA Criteria

A(i)Site contains one or more globally threatened species

IPA assessment rationale

Mount Nállume qualifies as an Important Plant Area under criteria A and C. Under criterion A(i) the site supports populations of three globally threatened species: Euphorbia grandicornis (EN), Streptocarpus myoporoides (EN) and Vepris macedoi (EN). The site nearly qualifies under criterion C(iii), having significant areas of Medium Altitude Moist Forest, a restricted and nationally threatened habitat, but it is not considered to be among the five best sites nationally for that habitat.

Site description

Mount Nállume, also known as Serra Chinga, is a granite inselberg in Ribáuè and Murrupula Districts of Nampula Province, ca. 25 km south-east of the town of Ribáuè. It forms part of a band of inselbergs in northern Mozambique running north-east from Mount Namuli and including Mount Inago, Serra Merripa [MOZTIPA048] and the Ribáuè Massif [MOZTIPA001]. The IPA includes a series of irregular granite rock outcrops, partially covered by forest and reaching an elevation of ca. 1,420 m. The site covers an area of approximately 115 km2 and is not formally protected at present.

Botanical significance

Significant areas of both median altitude moist forest and granite inselberg habitat can be found at Mount Nállume. These habitats are restricted and threatened in Mozambique. In addition, three threatened endemic plants occur here, of which two, the herb Streptocarpus myoporoides and tree Vepris macedoi are only found on Mount Nállume and the nearby Ribáue massif (Osborne et al. 2019, Darbyshire & Rokni 2019). The third, a spiny succulent Euphorbia grandicornis, is known from only Mount Nállume and two sites to the east of Nampula city (Osborne et al. 2019). All three plants are assessed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN 2020). Other notable species occurring at Mount Nállume include two further endemics, the cycad Encephalartos turneri and the suffrutescent herb Bothriocline moramballae, as well as the forest tree Maranthes goetzeniana, which is widespread in the region but sparsely distributed and assessed as Near Threatened (Timberlake et al. 2018). The site is not well-studied botanically and other notable plant species are likely to occur here.

Habitat and geology

The landscape at Mount Nállume consists predominantly of granite inselberg slopes ranging from curved granite domes to steep cliffs. These granite slopes support an interesting and diverse flora of herbs and shrubs, typically including many succulents. Crevices and gullies in the rock provide numerous microhabitats supporting plant diversity. Moist forest patches cover a significant area of the inselberg, the canopy mostly 15-20 m tall though reaching over 40 m in places (Platts pers. comm. 2020). However, a large part of the forest has been cleared recently through logging and for subsistence agriculture, particularly at the base of the granite slopes. On top of the inselbergs water from the moist forest forms swamps and drains into frequent streams. At the base of the granite slopes meandering stream are conspicuous on satellite imagery (Google Earth 2020) supporting narrow bands of dark green riparian forest within a mosaic of agricultural land, secondary scrub or grassland and fragments of woodland.

Conservation issues

The forest at Mount Nállume is under increasing threat due to logging and forest clearance for subsistence agriculture. Biologists who visited the site in 2019 estimate forest loss of more than 30% over the past 10 years and suggest that all the forest could be lost within 15 years at the current rates of deforestation (Njagi 2019). Fire presents another threat to the forest, both unintentional spread of fires used by local people to clear agricultural fields surrounding the inselbergs and fires set intentionally by hunters to drive animals into traps in the forest (Njagi 2019). These fires are damaging the forest edge but are a secondary threat when compared to the current rate of forest clearance for subsistence agriculture (Platts pers. comm. 2019). The site falls under the jurisdiction of the local district authorities for three separate districts, Ribáue, Mecuburi and Murrupula (Njagi 2019) but it is not formally protected by the Mozambique Government.

Ecosystem services

Mount Nállume has a high plant diversity value providing moist forest and granite inselberg habitats for flora and fauna within a predominantly agricultural plain. Timber and medicinal plants from the forest are used by local people, some of whom also depend on wildlife hunting for food (Njagi 2019). The inselberg forests have cultural and spiritual value to the local community, being considered sacred and used as sites for performing traditional rituals (Njagi 2019). The forested inselbergs provide a watershed for the local area and the vegetation contributes to carbon sequestration and storage.

Site assessor(s)

Jo Osborne, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Iain Darbyshire, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

IPA criterion A species

Species Qualifying sub-criterion ≥ 1% of global population ≥ 5% of national population 1 of 5 best sites nationally Entire global population Socio-economically important Abundance at site
Euphorbia grandicornis N.E.Br. subsp. sejuncta L.C.Leach A(i) True True True False False Unknown
Streptocarpus myoporoides Hilliard & B.L.Burtt A(i) True True True False False Unknown
Vepris macedoi (Exell & Mendonça) Mziray A(i) True True True False False Unknown

Euphorbia grandicornis N.E.Br. subsp. sejuncta L.C.Leach

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:
Unknown

Streptocarpus myoporoides Hilliard & B.L.Burtt

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:
Unknown

Vepris macedoi (Exell & Mendonça) Mziray

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:
Unknown

IPA criterion C qualifying habitats

Habitat Qualifying sub-criterion ≥ 5% of national resource ≥ 10% of national resource 1 of 5 best sites nationally Areal coverage at site
Medium Altitude Moist Forest 900-1400 m C(iii) False False False 10

Medium Altitude Moist Forest 900-1400 m

Qualifying sub-criterion:
C(iii)
≥ 5% of national resource:
False
≥ 10% of national resource:
False
Areal coverage at site:
10

General site habitats

General site habitat Percent coverage Importance
Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane Forest 9 Major
Rocky Areas - Rocky Areas [e.g. inland cliffs, mountain peaks] 52 Major
Savanna - Moist Savanna No value Major
Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers, Streams, Creeks [includes waterfalls] No value Minor
Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools [under 8 ha] No value Minor
Artificial - Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest No value Major
Artificial - Terrestrial - Arable Land No value Major

Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane Forest

Percent coverage:
9
Importance:
Major

Rocky Areas - Rocky Areas [e.g. inland cliffs, mountain peaks]

Percent coverage:
52
Importance:
Major

Savanna - Moist Savanna

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Major

Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers, Streams, Creeks [includes waterfalls]

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Minor

Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools [under 8 ha]

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Minor

Artificial - Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Major

Artificial - Terrestrial - Arable Land

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Major

Land use types

Land use type Percent coverage Importance
Agriculture (arable) No value Major
Harvesting of wild resources No value Unknown

Agriculture (arable)

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Major

Harvesting of wild resources

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Unknown

Threats

Threat Severity Timing
Agriculture & aquaculture - Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Shifting agriculture High Ongoing - increasing
Agriculture & aquaculture - Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming High Ongoing - increasing
Natural system modifications - Fire & fire suppression - Increase in fire frequency/intensity Unknown Ongoing - increasing
Biological resource use - Hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - Unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) Unknown Ongoing - trend unknown
Biological resource use - Logging & wood harvesting High Ongoing - trend unknown

Agriculture & aquaculture - Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Shifting agriculture

Severity:
High
Timing:
Ongoing - increasing

Agriculture & aquaculture - Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming

Severity:
High
Timing:
Ongoing - increasing

Natural system modifications - Fire & fire suppression - Increase in fire frequency/intensity

Severity:
Unknown
Timing:
Ongoing - increasing

Biological resource use - Hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - Unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target)

Severity:
Unknown
Timing:
Ongoing - trend unknown

Biological resource use - Logging & wood harvesting

Severity:
High
Timing:
Ongoing - trend unknown

Management type

Management type Description Year started Year finished
No management plan in place No value No value

No management plan in place

Year started:
No value
Year finished:
No value

Bibliography

Darbyshire, I., Timberlake, J., Osborne, J., Rokni, S., Matimele, H., Langa, C., Datizua, C., de Sousa, C., Alves, T., Massingue, A., Hadj-Hammou, J., Dhanda, S., Shah, T. & Wursten, B., 2019

The endemic plants of Mozambique: diversity and conservation status

PhytoKeys, Vol 136, page(s) 45-96 Available online

Google Earth, 2020

Google Earth Satellite Imagery

Available online

Osborne, J., Matimele, H.A., Alves, M.T., Chelene, I., Darbyshire, I., Datizua, C., De Sousa, C., Langa, C., Massingue, A.O., Mucaleque, P.A., Odorico, D., Rokni, S., Rulkens, A.J.H., Timberlake, J. & Viegas, A., 2019

Streptocarpus myoporoides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T120956335A120980268.

Darbyshire, I. & Rokni, S., 2019

Vepris macedoi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T136536037A136538318.

Osborne, J., Matimele, H.A., Alves, M.T., Chelene, I., Darbyshire, I., Datizua, C., De Sousa, C., Langa, C., Massingue, A.O., Mucaleque, P.A., Odorico, D., Rokni, S., Rulkens, A.J.H., Timberlake, J. & Viegas, A., 2019

Euphorbia grandicornis subsp. sejuncta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T120955804A120980238.

Njagi, D., 2019

‘A crisis situation’: Extinctions loom as forests are erased in Mozambique.

Available online

Bayliss, J., Brattström, O., Bampton, I. & Collins, S.C., 2019

A new species of Leptomyrina Butler, 1898 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from Mts Mecula, Namuli, Inago, Nallume and Mabu in Northern Mozambique.

Metamorphosis, Vol 30, page(s) 19-24 Available online

Recommended citation

Jo Osborne, Iain Darbyshire (2024) Tropical Important Plant Areas Explorer: Mount Nállume (Mozambique). https://tipas.kew.org/site/mount-nallume-2/ (Accessed on 21/05/2024)