Important Bird Areas

Bird Life International’s Important Bird Area (IBA) Programme has identified a global network of sites that are critical for the long-term survival of all bird species and their habitats. Six of the sites are to be found in the river basin.

Location of Important Bird Areas in the River Basin (courtesy of P. Leonard)

Location of Important Bird Areas in the River Basin (courtesy of P. Leonard)

Description

Name (National IBA number)
Area
(km2)
Habitat Conservation Importance
Kafue National Park (#14) 22,400 Mutemwa forest, Miombo and Mopane woodland; river, riparian forest; swamp, floodplain and dambo grassland. 12 globally threatened; large numbers of waterbirds occur on the Busanga floodplain. 499 species recorded (Oct. 2016)
Kafue Flats (#15) 6,505 Floodplain, swamp, lagoon and river, fringed by grassland and Munga woodland 12 globally threatened.  Very large concentrations of a wide variety of waterbirds. 463 species recorded
Nkanga river conservation area (#16) 97 Miombo and Munga woodland, thicket, dambo and grassland 11 globally threatened; rich in Zambezian endemics and Chaplin’s barbet common. 439 species recorded
Lukanga Swamp (#20) 3,300 Lake, swamp and floodplain Avifauna not well known. 7 globally threatened species; 346 species recorded. Large numbers of  waterbirds
Imanda (#21) 10 Mushitu forest Rich in Mushitu forest species. 4 globally threatened species; 225 species recorded
Chimfunshi (#22) 93 Miombo woodland, Mushitu and riparian forest, dambo and floodplain Rich in Mushitu forest species and Zambezian endemics. 6 globally threatened species; 299 species recorded

Source: Leonard, 2005

Land Tenure and Threats

Name (National IBA number) Status Pressures
Kafue National Park (#14) National Park Late burning damages key habitats; poaching.
Kafue Flats (#15) National Parks (2); Game Management Area; Ramsar Site Regulated floods; invasive species; climate change; poaching.
Nkanga River Conservation Area (#16) Private game conservancy
Lukanga Swamp (#20) Ramsar Site Agricultural encroachment; over-fishing alleged.
Imanda (#21) Unprotected Deforestation; encroachment.
Chimfunshi (#22) Private farmland Deforestation; one of the farms earmarked for government repossession.

Source: Likando, K., Nyoni, M. and Ngwenyama, D., 2010

Birds of Conservation Concern

Based on the IUCN Red List, the bird species of greatest international conservation concern that are found in the river basin are:

Name

Scientific name

Recorded in IBA numbers

Madagascar Squacco Heron

Ardeola idae

15

Slaty Egret

Egretta vinaceigula

14, 15, 16

Shoebill

Balaeniceps rex

20

Hooded Vulture

Necrosyrtes monachus

14, 15, 16, 21, 22

White-backed Vulture

Gyps africanus

14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22

Lappet-faced Vulture

Torgos tracheliotos

14, 15, 16

White-headed Vulture

Trigonoceps occipitalis

14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22

Martial Eagle

Polemaetus bellicosus

14, 15, 16, 20, 22

Secretarybird

Sagittarius serpentarius

14, 15, 16

Wattled Crane

Bugeranus carunculatus

14, 15, 16, 20, 22

Grey Crowned-crane

Balearica regulorum

14, 15, 16

Black-cheeked Lovebird

Agapornis nigrigenis

14

Southern Ground-hornbill 

Bucorvus leadbeateri

14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22

Chaplin’s Barbet

Lybius chaplini

14, 15, 16, 20

Sources: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/country/zambia; Leonard, 2005

Note: vultures and several other species above have declined rapidly in recent years and without up-to-date survey information the significance of their occurrence in the IBAs for conservation purposes is now uncertain.

A Black-cheeked Lovebird snared for bushmeat. The species is endemic to a small area of the Zambezi river basin, including the southern Kafue river basin and an adjacent area of mopane and Baikiaea forestin the Zambezi river basin.  Gareth Knass

A Black-cheeked Lovebird snared for bushmeat. The species is endemic to a small area of the Zambezi river basin, including the southern Kafue river basin and an adjacent area of mopane and Baikiaea forest. Few live in protected areas. Copyright Gareth Knass

 

Chaplin's Barbet, Zambia's only endemic bird species is almost entirely restricted to the Kafue river basin.  It is common in the Nkanga River Conservation Area. Claire Spottiswoode

Chaplin’s Barbet, Zambia’s only endemic bird species is almost entirely restricted to the Kafue river basin. It is common in the Nkanga River Conservation Area. Copyright Claire Spottiswoode

Bird Lists

BirdWatch Zambia bird lists (October 2016) for Kafue National Park, the Kafue Flats, Lochinvar National Park and Blue Lagoon National Park can be downloaded HERE.

References

BirdLife International, 2014. Country profile: Zambia. Available from: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/country/zambia Checked: 2016-10-16

Dowsett, R.J., Aspinwall, D.R. and F. Dowsett-Lemaire, 2008. The Birds of Zambia. Turaco Press, Liège, Belgium

Leonard, P., 2005. Important Bird Areas in Zambia. Zambian Ornithological Society, Lusaka.

Likando, K., Nyoni, M. and Ngwenyama, D., 2010. 2009 IBA Status and Trends Report, Zambia. Zambian Ornithological Society.