★ Zambezian coastal flooded savanna
The Zambezi coastal flooded savanna is a flooded grassland and savanna Ecoregion in Mozambique. It includes coastal flooded savannas and grasslands in the deltas of the Zambezi, Pungwe, Buzi and save rivers.
1. Geography. (География)
The Zambezi, Pungwe, Buzi and save rivers drain vast areas of the interior of South-East Africa. The amount of precipitation in the region is highly seasonal, and the amount of water carried by these rivers varies depending on the wet and dry cycles of the year. The flooded savannas are found in low-lying coastal lowlands at the mouths of rivers,sediments recent river fluvisols.
They cover an area of 19.346 km2 of Zambezian coastal flooded savannahs. The flooded savannahs of the Zambezi occupy the largest area, extending almost 200 km along the coast of the Indian ocean and extending up to 120 km inland. To the South are the adjacent floodplains of the Pungwe and Buzi rivers, which form a flooded savanna with an area of 4500 km2. Small savannas, flooded by the save river, lie further South. East African mangroves lie between flooded savannas and the coast in areas of brackish or salt water.
Southern Zanzibar-Nihombashi coastal forest mosaic Ecoregion occupies the coastal hills adjacent to the flooded savannas. The drier forests of the Zambezi and mopane cover the inland river valleys.
2. Flora. (Флора)
Plant communities include flooded meadows, flooded savannas, and freshwater swamp forests, which vary depending on the soil and duration of flooding. Reed swamps of Phragmites australis and Typha capensis are common in permanently flooded areas. In seasonally flooded areas with clay soil is dominated by grass Hyparrhenia, ischemia and Setaria. Trees and shrubs of flooded savannas include Parinari curatellifolia, Uapaca nitida, and Syzygium guineense. There are borassus aethiopum palm savanna areas. Swamp forests grow on the edges of rivers, lakes and lagoons, and characteristic trees include Barringtonia racemosa, Ficus verruculosa and the Phoenix reclinata palm.
3. Fauna. (Фауна)
Large mammals in the Ecoregion include Hippo hippopotamus amphibius, African Buffalo Syncerus caffer water Kobus ellipsiprymnus, southern reed Redunca arundium, plains Zebra Equus quagga, Nyala Tragelaphus angasi, blue wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus, steenbok Raphicerus campestris and common warthog Phacochoerus Africanus. Mammalian predators include lion Panthera leo, leopard P. pardus, Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus, spotted hyena Crocuta striped Jackal Canis adustus, Cape genet Genetta tigrina, African civet Civettictis civetta, Serval Leptailurus serval, African clawed otter Aonyx capensis, spotted otter Hydrictis maculicollis, striped mongoose mungos Mungo, white-tailed mongoose ichneumia albicauda and Bushy-tailed mongoose bdeogale Crassicauda.
Some large mammals migrate seasonally between flooded savannas and meadows, forests and woodlands of neighboring hills. Common Eland Taurotragus oryx migrates to seasonal wetlands at the beginning of the rainy season to feed on young grasses. Populations of Liechtenstein hartebeest Alcelaphus lichtensteinii and sable antelope Hippotragus niger live in flooded savannas during the dry season and migrate to higher ground at the beginning of the rainy season.
The flooded savannas are home to large populations of native and migratory waterfowl, including the African open-billed stork Anastomus lamelligerus, the saddle stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis, the lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor, the great white Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus, the great Gallinago media Snipe and the African skimmer Rynchops flavirostris.
4. Conservation and threats. (Сохранение и угрозы)
The construction of major dams on the Zambezi-Kariba, completed in 1959, and Cahora Bassa, completed in 1974-changed the ecology of the Zambezi, reducing the annual flooding of the Lower Zambezi during the rainy season and the total volume of water and sediment entering the flooded savannas. Other threats include poaching and excessive hunting. Wildlife was destroyed during the civil war in Mozambique, and the African forest elephant Loxodonta africana and the black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis were destroyed.
5. Protected area. (Охраняемый район)
A 2017 assessment showed that 6.212 km2, or 32%, of the Ecoregion is located in protected areas. Protected areas include the Marromeu national reserve in the southwestern Zambezi Delta and the adjacent cutades or hunting grounds. Gorongosa national Park protects part of the Northern floodplain of the Pungwe river.
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