Pioneering wilderness and conservation expedition in Mozambique
Niassa National Reserve (NNR) is located in northern Mozambique, with its northern boundary the Ruvuma River bordering Tanzania. NNR is recognized as the most important protected zone in Mozambique, a critical protected area left in Africa, and one of the last great wilderness areas on earth. It covers more than 16,000 mi2 (42,000km2) and therefore larger than Switzerland. It is of profound importance for the global conservation of African wildlife, especially for the African lion, wild dog and elephant.
Biodiversity surveys have revealed a species-rich and largely intact ecosystem of miombo woodlands, rivers, inselbergs (granite “island” mountains), wetlands, and plains. NNR also supports rare birds like the Taita falcon, African skimmer, Dickinson’s kestrel and Angola pitta as well as an indigenous reptile, the Mecula Girdled Lizard.
Despite its size, importance, biodiversity and spectacular scenery, NNR is little known internationally and does not receive the same world-wide public support of other better-known protected areas of similar critical importance. Increases in elephant poaching, timber logging, habitat transformation, population growth and bush meat snaring are some of the pressures on the Reserve and its species.