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Location Zambia, Northern
Central coordinates 30o 20.34' East  8o 43.56' South
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 260,300 ha
Altitude 773 - 1,433m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)

Site description The park sits at the southern end of Lake Tanganyika and includes about 100km of its shoreline.This is a typical Rift valley lake with dramatic steep sides for much of its lenght and a maximum depth of 1470m. In most places the shore is rocky but there are also sandy strecthes. Other features of the Lake shore are two promontories known as Cape Nundo and the Inangu Penisula. The park is bisected by from south-west to north-east by the Lufubu River in what's known as the Yendwe valley. Where this and other similar valleys broaden and meet the Lake there are groves of riparian trees such as Acacia albida and Trichillia emetica. Elsewhere in the river valleys there is pteleopsis anisoptera woodland and the remainder of the park comprises variuos woodland types (including miombo and area dominated by Pteleocarpus angolensis) and large stretches of Itigi thicket. Itigi thicket is also found in small pockets in DRC and more extensively in Tanzania and characteristic plants include Bussea masaiensis subsp. floribunda (Casesalpinioideae), Pseudoprosopsis fischeri ( Mimosoidae) and Burttia prunoides (Connaracea). Tondwa GMA (No 29) lies immediately to the west of the park. It acts as a buffer zone and is also a relatively popular hunting area. At its heart is a very large pan which supports an abundance of wildlife and rich diversity of aquatic vegetation. there is a samll fishing settlemet beside the pan.

Key Biodiversity The broad range of habitats hold a wide diversity of species, though the woodland has not been well explored. many waterbirbirds can be found along the lake shore and both african Fish Eagle and palmnut Vulture aere regular. Lesser Black-winged Plover is probably a regular breeding visitor and the first Zambian records of Spur-winged Plover came from Kasaba's Bay area in 1999. Pel's Fishing Owl is occasiona, in thick riparian vegetation and both species of Oxpecker are regular. Typical birds of the Itigi thickets include Crested Guineafowls, Green Coucal, Bohm''s Bee-eater, African Pitta, White-throated Nicator and Red-capped Robin. Tondwa Pan supports enormous concertrations of waterbirds and species recently recorded in very large numbers include Little Grebe, white-backed Duck, African Pygmy Goose, Common and Leser Jacana (1000-2000 in Dec 1999). Sadle-billed Stok, Shoebill and Wattled Crane are probably all regular and lesser Flamingo has occasionally occured in good numbers.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-backed Duck Thalassornis leuconotus resident  1999  300 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor A1  Near Threatened 
Madagascar Pond-heron Ardeola idae non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Shoebill Balaeniceps rex non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotos resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Denham's Bustard Neotis denhami A1  Near Threatened 
Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata resident  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Lesser Jacana Microparra capensis resident  1999  1,000-2,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris A1  Near Threatened 
Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus A3  Least Concern 
Racquet-tailed Roller Coracias spatulatus A3  Least Concern 
Böhm's Bee-eater Merops boehmi A3  Least Concern 
Chirping Cisticola Cisticola pipiens A3  Least Concern 
Sharp-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis acuticaudus A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Scrub-robin Erythropygia barbata A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Black-chat Myrmecocichla arnoti A3  Least Concern 
Boehm's Flycatcher Muscicapa boehmi A3  Least Concern 
Oustalet's Sunbird Nectarinia oustaleti A3  Least Concern 
Katanga Masked-weaver Ploceus katangae A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2005 high favourable low
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

Wetlands (inland)   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Unknown  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Nsumbu National Park 206,300 protected area contained by site 206,300  
Tondwa Game Management Area 54,000 protected area contained by site 54,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   major
Forest   minor

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: Sumbu National Park and Tondwa Game Management Area. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife