Subject: The Lost World of Timor-Leste’s Mountain

The Lost World of Timor-Leste's Mountain

Posted by Danielle On November - 18 - 2009

Mount Mundo Perdido has some of the finest montane forests of Timor-Leste. There are 22 bird species with restricted ranges in the area and the mountain is Timor-Leste's 17th IBA (Important Bird Area). Mount Mundo Perdido is protected from actions like agriculture due to its rocky terrain and the mountain rises 1,760 m into the sky.

As stated before there are 22 restricted bird species in the area and one of the species is globally threatened, the Timor Imperial pigeon. Eight more of the 22 endemics are near threatened. These eight include the slaty cuckoo-dove and chestnut-backed thrush. There are 63 recorded bird species in the area with 61 of those possibly breeding in the area. Many of the birds completely use the montane forests and an exciting discovery was made of a population of pygmy blue flycatchers.

The surveys of the area were made by Timor-Leste's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and a representative of Charles Darwin University in Australia. The effort was supported by BirdLife and the Darwin Initiative of the UK Government.

Birds are not the only thing that need conserving on the mountain. The mountain is also very important for the conservation of orchid species.

The area is not currently managed as a protected area. However, the local people have responded well to the idea of the management practices of a protected area. If the are was protected there would be better livestock management, reforestation of certain areas, better and more sustainable access to the forest's products, and a local forestry program.

Places like Timor-Leste's Mount Mundo Perdido is a great example possible protection before something happens, like a species going extinct. The area does not sound too degraded and if measures are put in place before that happens then species will thrive. This is good news.

Note: A montane forest basically means a forest of the mountains, like cloud forests.

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Picture: a chestnut-backed thrush credit to <> 120SQN on Flickr 

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