22 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) with a total land area of 18,040 km2 were designated by BirdLife International. Of these, 13 are legally or partly protected on paper at least. Of the 22, the 9 listed below are in Southern Sudan and the other 13 in Sudan following the split into the 2 countries. There have been few ornithological surveys in recent years and much of the data on which the selections have been made is out of date and possibly inaccurate.
Sudd (Bahr-el-Jebel system) The Sudd swamps of southern Sudan are among the most important wetlands for birds in Africa. Three protected areas exist within the Sudd: Shambe National Park and Fanyikang and Zeraf Game Reserves, all within the Bahr-el-Jebel system of the Sudd, the part of the swamps that will be most affected by the Jonglei canal, as and when completed. For current purposes, the core of the Sudd is treated as a single site; this includes the three protected areas and covers much of the Bahr-el-Jebel system between the towns of Malakal to the north and Bor to the south. The Sudd swamps hold by far the largest population of Shoebill Balaeniceps rex.
Boma The site includes Boma National Park and the adjacent Boma hills. The area is located in the south-east of Sudan close to the Ethiopian border, south-east of the town of Pibor Post. It lies between the rivers Kangen to the west and Oboth in the north-east and from the Kurun river and the provincial boundary in the south to the Guom swamps in the north. Two-thirds of the park is flat flood-plain, punctuated by a number of isolated hills, rising to undulating terrain in the east to reach the Boma plateau at c.1,100 m. The site is located a little way south of Gambella National Park in Ethiopia.
Southern National Park is situated on an ironstone plateau in the south-west of the country, south of the town of Wau and west of Bor. The park is bounded to the west by the Sue river and to the east by the Maridi river, while the Ibba river bisects it north–south. It consists of gently undulating country with low ranges of hills separated by the three parallel northward-flowing rivers and mostly covered with savanna woodland. It is in an area of low human population, poor soils and a high incidence of tsetse fly.
Bandigilo is located between the towns of Bor in the north and Juba in the south, to the east of the White Nile. The park is centred on a swamp c.40 km east of the town of Mongalla which provides a dry season refuge for mammal populations. It also includes the large surrounding area of mostly waterless plains.
Bengangai is a small forested Game Reserve on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, west of the town of Yambio. The site is bounded to the west by the Biki river and to the east by the Ogo river, to the south by the border with DR Congo and to the north by the road linking Yambio with the international frontier of the Central African Republic, immediately to the north-west. The vegetation of the site is principally Guinea–Congolian forest.
Juba This reserve, comprising Juba Nature Reserve and Jebel Kujur Forest Reserve, lies immediately south-west of the town of Juba in southern Sudan. The terrain is hilly, dominated by the rocky outcrops and sheer cliffs of Jebel Kujur.
Imatong Mountains The Imatong Central Forest Reserve lies in the Imatong mountain range 190 km south-east of Juba on the Ugandan border. The mountains are sharply faulted and many perennial rivers arise within this upland region.
Kidepo is located to the east of the Imatong mountains (site SD020) on the Ugandan border, and is contiguous with the Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda (IBA UG030). It includes the Dongotona mountains to the west and the southern part of the Didinga hills to the east, between which lies the Kidepo Game Reserve, in the valleys of the Kidepo and the Omoro rivers, and which extends north to the Torit - Kapoeta road.
Nimule Nimule National Park is located in the extreme south of the country on the border with Uganda. The White Nile forms the eastern border of the park for c.48 km. Beyond it, on the eastern bank, there is a buffer zone, bounded by the Assua river to the north and by the Juba - Nimule road to the east. The Kayu river flows through the park from the Uganda
border to the White Nile. The topography is hilly and most of the park is covered with savanna woodland.
For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.