Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Lusenga Plain National Park
29o 11.00' East 9o 24.00' South
980 - 1,374m
Year of IBA assessment
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.