The Bird Population Of a Settled Valley In The West Dsambaras, Tanganyika Territory

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Moreau W.M
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AFTER our ornithological work had been confined for more than twelve months to the unusually interesting, but correspondingly difficult, evergreen rain forest round Amani, in the East Usambaras, the openness of the mountain country between Lushoto and Sakkarani, in the West Usambaras, came as a welcome change. Over an area approximately 15 miles in diameter the forest, which is said to have been continuous throughout the whole mountain-mass within living memory, has been cleared so completely that in a wide perspective it is frequently impossible to point to a single surviving tree. Large candelabra Euphorbias are a striking feature of the landscape. The annual rainfall has been reduced to less than 50 inches, and most of the cleared ground is devoid of permanent cover of any description. Once the gorge by which the mountains are entered from Mombo has been climbed, cultivation, apparently in annual alternations of crop and fallow, is practically continuous except where the hillsides break into cliffs. In most of the valleys there are permanent trickles of water a few inches or feet wide. Channels are led off from them to provide a certain amount of primitive irrigation. Where they are left to themselves and there is no pronounced gradient, these little streams carry a heavy growth of flowering rush (Cyperus). Not infrequently narrow strips of bush, approximating to hedgerows, line the paths.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, XIX (1), p. 65-74