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Location Zambia, North Western
Central coordinates 22o 15.00' East  13o 8.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 50,000 ha
Altitude 1,070 m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)

Site description A vast area of rather flat grassy plains that can be broadly divided into wetter and drier types, depending on slight differences in elevation (Aspinwall 1979). There are scattered pockets of scrub and in the depresions small clumps of Syzgium forest.Bordering the plains are stretches of rather open Kalahari woodland and Burkea savanna. There is very little surface water in the dry season and much of the area is sparsely populated. The site is poorly defined at present and further work is required to establish a suitable boundary.

Key Biodiversity A very rich grassland avifauna, comprising species typical of both western Province and Mwinilunga District. Typical of former are Greter Kestrel, Black crow and Long-Tailed Whydah. Characteristic of the latter are Angola Lark and Black-tailed Cisticol.One of the most interesting birds to occur is white-throated Francolin, an essentially West African species that ghas a relict population in this small corner of Zambia and neighbouring Angola. It is a fairly common inhabitantof the drier plains, whereas Red-winged Francolins tend to be found in the wetter areas. Another species with a seemingly disjunct population in this area is Cloud Cisticola. However, recent observationsinSesheke District suggest that the species may be more widespread in Zambia than previous thought. According to loca residents, some areas become heavily inundated during the rains and large concertrations of waterbirds occur, but very few ornithologists have visited at this site.

Non-bird biodiversity: Not known

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus A1  Vulnerable 
Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus A3  Least Concern 
Souza's Shrike Lanius souzae A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-bellied Tit Parus rufiventris A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Tit Parus griseiventris A3  Least Concern 
Angola Lark Mirafra angolensis A3  Least Concern 
Chirping Cisticola Cisticola pipiens A3  Least Concern 
Red-capped Crombec Sylvietta ruficapilla A3  Least Concern 
Sharp-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis acuticaudus A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Scrub-robin Erythropygia barbata A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia talatala A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser rufoscapulatus A3  Least Concern 
Fuelleborn's Longclaw Macronyx fuellebornii A3  Least Concern 
Black-eared Seedeater Serinus mennelli A3  Least Concern 
Lybius minor A3  Not Recognised 
Anchieta's Barbet Stactolaema anchietae A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Pied Barbet Tricholaema frontata A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2005 low favourable negligible
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Shrubland   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Grassland - edaphic, dry; Grassland - edaphic, wet  major
Shrubland Scrub - woodland  minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised major
Notes: Area is sparsely populated and not particularly suitable for agriculture, so human disturbance is currently minimal (Leonard 2005).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Minyanya Plain. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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