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Location Zambia, Western
Central coordinates 24o 30.00' East  17o 22.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 100,000 ha
Altitude 710 - 970m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)



Site description An area of floodplain, woodland and mutemwa stradling the wester end of the Livingstone-Sesheke road.The Zambezi marks the southern boundary (as well as the Namibian border) and a complex system of channels and ox-bows flank its main course. Both Papyrus and phragmites swamps are found in some of the more permenent wetlants and further away from the river are several ephemeral pans. A broad, sandy floodplain extends back for several kilometres and this is dotted with small elevations some of which become islands in years of heavy flood. Characteristic trees of these islands are Phoenix reclinata and very large Acacia albida. Beyond the plain is woodland of various types. Some areas are dominated by Terminalia sericea, but of more interest are the stands of Acacia woodland, a habitat that is uncommomn in Zambia. To the North of the main road, the land rises and here the vegetatio is principally mutemwa( forest dominated by Zambezi Teak.Most of this section falls within a National Forest (No 194) and it includes some of the finest remaining examples of this endagered forest type. Where burnt and degraded mutemwa becomes Kalahari woodlad and there are also small scattered, grassy plains. The area has a relatively small human population, although the densit is higher along the Zambzi where fishing is productive and cattle herding feasible.

Key Biodiversity A very wide variety of waterbirds occur, patcicularly as the floodwaters recede at the end of the rains when pools regularly atract Slaty Egrets. Further field work may show that both this species and African Skimer occur in numbers that exceed their 1% threshsholds. Both Southern Brown -thoaated weaver Weaver and Swamp Boubou occur in riparian growth and many bank-nesting species are atracted to the sand cliffs along the Zambezi. It is the only locality in Zambia from which there are several records of both Burchell's Sandgrouse and Kori Bustard. The former appears to be fairly coomon breeding resident whereas the later is scarce.Three other species of bustard have been recorded; White -bellied inhabits the driest parts of the plain, Black-belied Bustard is found throught the grassland and scrub and Red-crested Korhaan is in open woodland. Many other species with restricted Zambezian ranges occur.Both Burchell's Starling and Cape Glossy Starling occur around the edges of the plain and scrubby woodland often supports Scaly-feathered Finch. Red-eyed Bulbul is an unpredictable wanderer found throught the area but many species are more restricted to the Acacia woodland, including Acacia Pied Barbet, Tit-babbler, Marico Flycatcher, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Black-Cheeked waxbill and Shaft-taild Widow.

Non-bird biodiversity: Very poorly known.Spring Hare Pedetes capensis (Vu) is common and African Elephat Loxodonta africana (EN) wander through occasionally.An Aarwolf Protels cristatus was found dead on the main road close to the site in 1999 (P. Van Daele in litt.)

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Slaty Egret Egretta vinaceigula A1  Vulnerable 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni A1  Least Concern 
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni A3  Least Concern 
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotos A1  Vulnerable 
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus A1  Vulnerable 
African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris A1  Near Threatened 
Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus A3  Least Concern 
Bradfield's Hornbill Lophoceros bradfieldi A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Nicator Nicator gularis A3  Least Concern 
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Scrub-robin Erythropygia barbata A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia talatala A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2005 medium unfavourable negligible
Habitat
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Forest   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  Unknown  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Scrub - woodland  minor
Forest Woodland - mixed  minor
Wetlands (inland) Riverine floodplains  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
Notes: Its a National Forest

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Simungoma. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2014

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