Working for birds in Africa

Important Bird Areas

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 22:17 -- abc_admin

Ethiopia Gambella National Park

Image Credit: 
Claire Spottiswoode

Ethiopia is a very important country ornithologically. Some  816 species of bird have been recorded of which at least 596 are resident and 224 are regular seasonal migrants including 176 from the Palearctic.

Parts or all of three Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) lie within Ethiopia: the Jubba and Shabeelle vallleys EBA is shared with Somalia and 3 of its 4 species occur; the whole of the South Ethiopian highlands EBA with 5 species is within Ethiopia; and most of the Central Ethiopian highlands EBA is in Ethiopia and its 4 species occur. There is also one secondary area which is defined by the distribution of Sombre Rock-Chat Cercomela dubia.

Parts of 4 biome restricted assemblages occur in Ethiopia: Sahel in a small area in the far north with 16 of its species; Sudan-Guinea Savanna which occupies much of the west of the country with 16 of 54 species; Afrotropical highlands which straddles much of the centre of Ethiopia with 49 species; and Somali-Masai across the ast and remaining central parts with 98 species.

Numerous wetlands are important for birds including the lakes of the Rift Valley, montane marshes and bogs and particularly in the west, lowland swamps.

A remarkable 69 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) were defined by the Ethiopian WildLife and Natural History Society in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands (BirdLife International 2001). They cover 47,757 km2 equivalent to at least 4.3% of the land area of the country. They are as follows:

01 Shire lowlands in the Tekeze valley 36 Jibat forest
02 Dessa’a forest 37 Tiro Boter—Becho forest
03 Simen Mountains National Park 38 Mount Zuquala
04 Lake Ashenge 39 Koka dam and Lake Gelila
05 Hugumburda and Grat-Kahsu forests 40 Baro river
06 Fogera plains 41 Lake Zeway
07 Bahir Dar—Lake Tana 42 Gambella National Park
08 Lake Abe wetland system 43 Shek Husein
09 Yegof forest 44 Mugo highlands
10 Yangudi-Rassa National Park 45 Koffe swamp
11 Denkoro forest 46 Metu—Gore—Tepi forests
12 Awi Zone 47 Lake Langano
13 Choke mountains 48 Abijatta—Shalla Lakes National Park
14 Guassa (Menz) 49 Boyo wetland
15 Jemma and Jara valleys 50 Bonga forest
16 Mid-Abbay (Blue Nile) river basin 51 Senkele Sanctuary
17 Lakes Alemaya and Adele 52 Sof Omar
18 Ankober—Debre Sina escarpment 53 Lake Awassa
19 Aliyu Amba—Dulecha 54 Bale Mountains National Park
20 Finchaa and Chomen swamps 55 Omo National Park
21 Berga flood-plain 56 Nechisar National Park
22 Bisidimo 57 Genale river
23 Entoto Natural Park and escarpment 58 Anferara forests
24 Sululta plain 59 Mago National Park
25 Gudo plain 60 Lower Wabi Shebelle river and Warder
26 Chilimo forest 61 Mankubsa—Welenso forest
27 Gefersa reservoir 62 Liben plains and Negele woodlands
28 Awash National Park 63 Konso—Segen
29 Akaki—Aba—Samuel wetlands 64 Yabello Sanctuary
30 Dilu Meda (Tefki) 65 Arero forest
31 Menagesha State Forest 66 Dawa—Wachile
32 Bishoftu lake 67 Lake Chew Bahir
33 Chelekleka lake and swamp 68 Bogol Manyo—Dolo
34 Green Lake Oromiya 69 Lake Turkana and Omo delta
35 Babille Elephant Sanctuary  

For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.

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