Wildlife Conservation Efforts

South East Africa Montane Archipelago (SEAMA) Ecoregion


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: SEAMA Ecoregion

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

A recent study has revealed about undocumented biodiversity in the newly recognized South East Africa Montane Archipelago (SEAMA) Ecoregion.

What is SEAMA Ecoregion?

  • The SEAMA is a recently recognized ecoregion located in Southern Africa.
  • It spans across northern Mozambique and incorporating Mount Mulanje in Malawi.
  • SEAMA is distinguished by its mountainous terrain, encompassing diverse habitats such as montane forests, grasslands, and rock faces.
  • Despite its relatively recent recognition, SEAMA has been identified as a hub of biodiversity, hosting numerous species of plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates.

Recent Findings on SEAMA Ecoregion

  • Species Documentation: The researchers identified 127 plants, 45 vertebrates, and 45 invertebrate species, including two endemic genera of plants and reptiles.
  • Endemic Reptiles: SEAMA is home to 22 strictly endemic reptile species, most of which are threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation.
  • Global Significance: The remarkable diversity of SEAMA has prompted proposals to designate it as a new ecoregion of global biological importance.

Conservation Challenges

  • Late Discovery: Despite being located in a region considered the birthplace of modern humans, the mountains of northern Mozambique remained largely unstudied until recent decades due to historical conflicts.
  • Deforestation Threats: SEAMA faces severe deforestation threats, with up to 18% of its primary humid forest cover lost since 2000.
  • Causes of Deforestation: Slash and burn shifting agricultural practices, along with charcoal production, are the primary drivers of deforestation in the region.


2013: Which one of the following pairs a correctly matched?

Geographical feature and region

(a) Abyssinian Plateau – Arabia

(b) Atlas Mountains – Northwest Africa

(c) Guiana Highlands – Southwest Africa

(d) Okavango Basin – Patagonia


Practice MCQ:

The SEAMA Ecoregion often seen in news is located in-

(a) Latin America

(b) Europe

(c) Africa

(d) Asia

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