The Njesi Plateau expedition; Adressing a biogeographical gap in Mozambique’s Afromontane ‘sky-islands’
The mountains of northern Mozambique – archipelagos of scattered inselbergs topped with evergreen forests – remain poorly known biologically. Their long geological isolation from the east African rift combined with the conflict-fractured history of Mozambique meant that while they represent an area of clear biological interest, they have been subject to very little biological research until recent years. Most recent survey efforts have focused on the mountains in north-central Mozambique such as Mts Mabu and Namuli, highlighting their unique biological value through landmark discoveries of previously undocumented montane forests and multiple new species to science. Results from this work indicate that Mozambique’s mountains may be distinct biogeographically from those to the north or west, but also highlighted the need for further exploratory work elsewhere in Mozambique’s mountains. Large highland areas in Niassa, north-western Mozambique still remain virtually unexplored, however.