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Location Zambia, Central
Central coordinates 29o 7.00' East  14o 37.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 10,000 ha
Altitude 500 - 1,150m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)

Site description Where the Lunsemfwa river descends the Muchinga escarpment it has curved a spectacular gorge into the sedimentary rock, several kilometres long.It is extremely steep,relatively narrow and about 300m deep. About halfway along its length it is joined from the north-east by the Mkushi river in an equally impressive gorge. Directly above the confluence is bell point, a viewpoint that has been awarded National Monument status due to its outstanding natural beuty. Bell Point was named after Miss Grace Bell, a freind of e. knowles jordan,who was probably the forst european to reah the area in about 1913. The gorge is sorrounded by rolling terrain covered with miombo, it is remote and sparserly populated.

Key Biodiversity Very little has been carried out, but there are atleast two records of Taita falcon and it seems likely that this localised species is a breeding resident. many birds that are typical of rocky habitats occur, such as Black eagle,Mocking Chat,Rock-loving Cisticola, striped pipit and red-winged Starling. The sorrounding miombo holds a good number of zambezian endemics and near endemics such as Pale-billed Hornbill, Miombo Rock Thrush, central Bearded scrub Robin, Arnot's Chat, Red-capped Crombec, rufous -bellied Tit and Sousa's Shrike.

Non-bird biodiversity: Not known.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Taita Falcon Falco fasciinucha A1  Vulnerable 
Racquet-tailed Roller Coracias spatulatus A3  Least Concern 
Pale-billed Hornbill Lophoceros pallidirostris 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 
Red-capped Crombec Sylvietta ruficapilla A3  Least Concern 
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Scrub-robin Erythropygia barbata A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Black-chat Myrmecocichla arnoti A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia manoensis A3  Least Concern 
Black-eared Seedeater Serinus mennelli A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed low

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Pollution industrial & military effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Some of site covered (10-49%)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Caves and subterranean habitats (non-aquatic)   major
Rocky areas Inselbergs, kopjes & inland cliffs  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
tourism/recreation minor

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Wonder Gorge. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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