The forests of the Angolan highlands are the smallest and most isolated of the Afromontane centres of endemism. Despite their high biodiversity value and small, fragmented extent of less than 200 ha, they remain entirely unprotected. Here we draw attention to their uniqueness and the threats to their conservation. We specifically highlight the importance of Mt Moco to bird conservation and describe current forest cover and condition. Sixty-four endemic/near-endemic species/subspecies and taxa with isolated populations are associated with the highlands of western Angola. All 19 forest-dependent taxa are among the 233 species recorded at Mt Moco, which include a rich diversity of montane specialists. Swierstra’s Francolin Pternistis swierstrai is the only threatened endemic. In 2009, 10 of 30 forest patches at Mt Moco larger than 0.5 ha were surveyed for this species. It occurred in seven of these surveyed patches, at a mean minimum density of 0.95 pair ha−1 in forest patches > 1 ha. Based on extrapolations of this figure, we estimate a minimum of 75 pairs of Swierstra’s Francolin at Mt Moco, and 185–420 pairs worldwide. Due to both limited range and small population size, we propose the species be up-listed from ‘Vulnerable’ to ‘Endangered’. Total forest cover at Mount Moco in forest patches > 0.5 ha in size is currently 85 ha. This is c.40% of the total cover of Afromontane forest estimated for Angola in 1974. Remaining forest cover at Mt Moco is being eroded by bush fires, removal of wood for fire and construction material, and clearance for subsistence agriculture by the c.330 inhabitants of Kanjonde village. In order to preserve the forest of Mt Moco, we propose the implementation of a protected area and define its boundaries. A similar proposal was made in 1974 for the creation of the Mount Moco Special Reserve.