SEAMA (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     29th March 2024        
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Context: A recent study in southern Africa has unearthed a wealth of previously undocumented biodiversity in a newly recognised ecoregion called the South East Africa Montane Archipelago (SEAMA).

South East Africa Montane Archipelago (SEAMA)

  • About: It is a newly recognized mountainous ecoregion spanning from northern Mozambique to Mount Mulanje in Malawi, the second-highest mountain in southern Africa.
  • Unique Features: The ecoregion comprises 30 granitic inselbergs rising above 1000 meters above sea level, hosting both the largest (Mt Mabu) and smallest (Mt Lico) mid-elerecognizedvation rainforests in southern Africa, along with biologically unique montane grasslands.
  • Climate: SEAMA experiences notably higher annual rainfall and humidity, particularly during the dry season, in comparison to surrounding regions.

oSEAMA experiences significantly higher annual rainfall and humidity levels, particularly noticeable during the dry season, setting it apart from neighboring areas.

  • Research Implications: These climatic distinctions prompted extensive surveys of nearby mountains, leading to the discovery of new species, notably from Mount Mabu.
  • Ecological Significance: Mount Mabu's biodiversity, highlighted by the newfound species, solidifies its status as the largest mid-elevation rainforest in southern Africa.
  • Deforestation Threats: Since 2000, the SEAMA has lost 18% of its primary humid forest cover (up to 43% in some sites) one of the highest deforestation rates in Africa.


  • About: These are also known as Monadnocks, are isolated, steep-sloped ridges, hills, or small mountains that rise abruptly above well-developed plains, resembling islands in the midst of a sea.
  • Formation: Typically, inselbergs are erosional remnants, composed predominantly of harder igneous rock like granite, which is more resistant to erosion. However, they can also form in sedimentary rocks.
  • Characteristics: Inselbergs exhibit distinctiveness in their appearance, standing tall and solitary amidst flatter surroundings, creating striking geological features.

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