Mozambique: the secret rainforest at the heart of an African volcano
A dream team of scientists scaled Mount Lico and felt a capital of brand-new species
Standing in a cavity in the red grime of a mountaintop forest in north Mozambique, Dr Simon Willcock was unclean but so excited.” Undisturbed forest is unbelievably uncommon ,” he announced.” That is why we scaled a 125 -metre-tall cliff with a pickaxe .” Willcock, from Bangor University in Wales, knew of no other rainforest in Africa that scientists can confidently articulate has not been disrupted by humen.” It’s a unique site in Africa ,” he pronounced, plunging the axe down into the chest-deep puncture with a whump.
Like a villain’s fortress in an old-fashioned James Bond movie, Mount Lico rises vertically from the country around it, the ancient centre of a volcano with the grove nuzzled in its crater. It was discovered by Dr Julian Bayliss, who examined satellite imagery looking for an undisturbed tropical rainforest. When he discerned Lico on Google Earth, he suggested, the forest on top” was isolated and appeared totally undisturbed “. With a smile, he lent:” That reaches it very exciting .”
Bayliss, from Oxford Brookes University, had form: he is known for having located Mount Mabu, the largest rainforest in south Africa, as well as a number of brand-new species of butterflies and other beasts in the area since then.
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