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The Wetland Book pp 1233-1241 | Cite as

Zambezi River Delta (Mozambique)

  • Richard D. Beilfuss
Reference work entry

Abstract

The Zambezi River Delta on the Indian Ocean coast of Mozambique is a broad, flat alluvial plain, approximately 1.2 million ha in size. The delta includes a rich mosaic of wetland communities ranging from acacia and palm savanna on the delta periphery to seasonally flooded grassland, papyrus swamps, evergreen forests, and open water bodies on the low-lying delta plains to mangrove forest and mudflats bordered by dunes near the coast. The Zambezi Delta supports abundant wildlife, including African buffalo, African elephant, sable antelope, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, Livingstone’s eland, and Endangered wild dog. Diverse waterbirds include a globally significant breeding population of Vulnerable wattled cranes, Endangered grey crowned cranes, numerous Palearctic and intra-African migrants, and immense breeding colonies of pelicans, herons, spoonbills, and other species. The Zambezi Delta has a vital role in the local, regional, and national economy of Mozambique through the ecological goods and services it provides. Although the delta is formally designated as a protected area and Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, it faces serious threats including dams, dredging, mining, agricultural conversion, and overexploitation of many resources.

Keywords

Zambezi river Wetlands Delta Biodiversity Ecosystem services Hydropower dams Environmental flows African buffalo Wattled crane Papyrus Mangrove 

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Crane FoundationBarabooUSA
  2. 2.College of Engineering, University of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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