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Location Zambia, Luapula
Central coordinates 29o 11.00' East  9o 24.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 88,000 ha
Altitude 980 - 1,374m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)

Site description This remote and somewhat forgotten park lies on the north-western corner of the Northen Province plateu and its eastern boundary is the kalungwishi River.The plain after which the park is named is in the south-western corner;it is oval-shaped and measures about 7km x 5km. It was formed by the weathering of an old volcanic plug dome.The grasland of the plain is typical of upland dambos in northern Zambia and towards the centre there are some very wet, swampy areas. Along the small drainage lines entering the plain are patches of mushitu and set back from the plain are` scattered patches of dry evergreen Marquesia forest. many of the park's rivers support strips of rich gallery mushitu but the majority of the area is covered by woodland.This is predominantly miombo of various formations ranging from tall, dense types on flatter terrain, to more open sometimes stunted types on the steep and rocky ground. On alluvial soils there are patches of Pteleopsis anisoptera and at lower altitudes the woodland is somewhat drier. The kalungwishi is a sizeable river with a variety of waterfalls and rocky rapids as well as quiet backwaters lined with riparian forest.

Key Biodiversity The park has seen only one short ornithological survey, but this revealed a rich variety of birds including a good number of Zambezian endemics.The plain is home to Wattled Crane, Blue Quail, Coppery-tailed Coucal, White-cheeke Bee-eater, Banded Martin, Fulleborn's and Rosy-breasted Longclaws, Broad-tailed Warbler,stout Cisticola, Marsh whydah, parasitic weaver and Black-chined quailfinch. Mushitu birds include Western Banded Snake Eagle,Lady ross's Turaco, Purple-throated Cuckoo-Shrike, Cabani's Greenbul,Bocage's Robin, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Laura's warbler, many-coloured Bush shrike, square-tailed Drongo and splendid glossy Starling. Common miombo species include pale-billed Hornbill, Whyte's barbet, Black-collared Eremomela, Red-capped Crombec, long-tailed' Neddicky and Red-and -blue sunbird. Violet-backedSunbird is unusually numerous. amongst the species found along the kalungwshi are rock Pranticole and Half-collared Kingfisher and the park's single Guinea-Congolian species, Cassins Grey Flycatcher.

Non-bird biodiversity: Although clearly depleted, a number of large mammals remain. Species found on the recent survey include Yellow Baboon, Vervet and Gentle (Blue) Monkey, Gambian Sun Squirel, Greater Galago, Bush Pig and Southern Reedbuck. Other tracks found were indintified as Bushbuck, duikers,Hartebeest, and Roan Antelope. The discovery of the recently described Brachystegia astlei from the southern border of the park leaves little doubt that ther is more to be discoverd in the flora of this corner of the country.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotos non-breeding  2001  unknown  A1  Endangered 
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus resident  2001  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus resident  2001  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Pale-billed Hornbill Lophoceros pallidirostris resident  2001  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-bellied Tit Parus rufiventris resident  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Wren-warbler Camaroptera undosa resident  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Laura's Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus laurae resident  2001  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Black-necked Eremomela Eremomela atricollis resident  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Red-capped Crombec Sylvietta ruficapilla resident  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus resident  2001  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Black-chat Myrmecocichla arnoti resident  2001  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Rock-thrush Monticola angolensis resident  2001  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Cassin's Grey Flycatcher Muscicapa cassini resident  2001  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Anchieta's Sunbird Anthreptes anchietae resident  2001  common  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia manoensis resident  2001  common  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser rufoscapulatus resident  2001  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Black-eared Seedeater Serinus mennelli resident  2001  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Lybius minor resident  2001  uncommon  A3  Not Recognised 
Whyte's Barbet Stactolaema whytii resident  2001  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2005 high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lusenga Plain National Park 88,000 is identical to site 88,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Grassland - edaphic, wet  minor
Forest Lowland forest - riparian; Woodland - monodominant  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lusenga Plain National Park. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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