The Annotated Ramsar List: Mozambique


The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Mozambique on 3 December 2004. Mozambique presently has 2 sites designated as a Wetland of International Importance, with a surface area of 2,051,700 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Lake Niassa and its Coastal Zone (Lago Niassa e Zona Costeira). 26/04/11; Niassa Province; 1,363,700 ha; 12º30’S 034º51’E. Mozambique’s Lake Niassa is an important resource, part of Africa’s third largest lake – the other two parts being in Malawi (where the lake is referred to as Lake Malawi) and in Tanzania (where it is known as Lake Nyasa). As one of the African Rift Valley great lakes, it is also part of the Miombo Woodlands ecoregion. This site has numerous unique features, from its boundaries that range from extensive plains in the South and steep sided mountains in the North, to the high levels of fish species that are endemic to the lake (90%) with more species continually being discovered. This site is also recognised for its support of threatened populations of leopard, sable antelope, and elephants amongst others. The Lake also lies within flyways of migratory birds that use the lake margins as staging areas between Africa and Europe. While the site is facing severe threats due to the overexploitation of the lake's resources, it is important in the sustenance of the surrounding populations’ livelihoods through activities such as fishing, agriculture, animal rearing, hunting, trade and handicrafts. Lake Niassa has been officially declared a reserve by the Government of Mozambique, protecting the species and natural habitats of one of the largest and most bio-diverse, freshwater ecosystems in the world. This designation has been supported by WWF International Freshwater Programme, the Swiss Grant for Africa, and WWF-Mozambique. Ramsar Site no. 1964. Most recent RIS information: 2009.

Marromeu Complex. 03/08/04; Sofala, Zambezia; 688,000 ha; 18°35'S 035°56'E. Comprising the protected Marromeu Buffalo Reserve (Reserva especial de Marromeu) and four surrounding hunting concessions, this site includes a variety of habitats ranging from Zambezian coastal flooded savanna, coastal dunes, grassland, and freshwater swamps, dambos associated with miombo forest, mangroves, and seagrass beds. It is an important breeding site for the White and Pink-backed pelican, while the mangrove area is important for African fish eagles, egrets, kingfishers, flamingos, waders, cormorants and herons. The Zambezi Delta supports 3-4% of the global Wattled Crane population and may provide critical refuge during extreme regional droughts when more than 30% of the global population may temporarily occur in the Delta. The mangrove crab Scylla serrata and other crustaceans (portunids, etc.) are present and exploited by the local population, while prawns spawning in the delta mangroves are of great economic importance as a source of foreign revenue. The Delta is home to thousands of farmers and fishermen who depend on the floodplain for their livelihoods. The site is most threatened by the cessation of natural flooding processes caused by the management of upstream dams on the Zambezi River as well as by the construction of roads, railways, and flood protection dykes. Ramsar site no. 1391. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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