email a friend
printable version
Location Zambia, Northern
Central coordinates 31o 22.00' East  8o 55.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 1,000 ha
Altitude 1,800 m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)

Site description The site comprises two large pans separated by a narrow strip of land. The more westerly lies adjacent to the main Kasama-Mbala road, about 10km south of Mbala. They represent an unusual plateu habitat and hold a wide variety of aquatic vegetation.The water levels fluctuate greatly and when high, the pans support a large rafts of water lilies and patches of swamp dominated by reed mace and variuos sedges. In drier periods the pan bases revert to grassland and occasionally one pan will dry out completely, but it is rare for both to do so. Fringing the pans are areas of scrub and degraded miombo, some farmland and a few patches of evergreen thicket. The area was once a part of the now abandoned Mbala state ranch.

Key Biodiversity For some time Uningi has been the most important site in Zammbia for Great Crested Grebes. Although also known from nearby Lake Chila and a small area in Westerrn Province, Uningi has provided the majority of recent records. However, since the mid 1990s and several consecutive dry years there have been no records. The pans have been visited frequently and explored thoroughly and its unlikely that birds have been overlooked. Furthermore there have been no recent records from other Zambian localities so there is much concern over the specie's status in Zambia. whether or not the species is able to re-establish itself in the futureremains to be seen, but the East African population is now considered to be 'critically endagered'. Other birds typical of the deep water pools include White-backed Duck, African Pygmy Goose, African and Lesser Jacanas. Many other water birds occur and characteristic birds include Rufous -bellied Heron, Great White Egret, Purple Heron, Saddle-billed Stork (see cheklist).

Non-bird biodiversity: Not known.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus non-breeding  1972  42 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  2004  frequent  A1  Least Concern 
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Corncrake Crex crex non-breeding  2004  uncommon  A1  Least Concern 
Great Snipe Gallinago media non-breeding  2004  frequent  A1  Near Threatened 
Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Wren-warbler Camaroptera undosa resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Scrub-robin Erythropygia barbata resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Anchieta's Sunbird Anthreptes anchietae resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Oustalet's Sunbird Nectarinia oustaleti resident  2004  common  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia manoensis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shelley's Sunbird Nectarinia shelleyi resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fuelleborn's Longclaw Macronyx fuellebornii resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lybius minor resident  2004  present  A3  Not Recognised 

IBA Monitoring

2005 high near favourable negligible
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
Climate change and severe weather drought happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Artificial - aquatic   0 0 moderate (70-90%) good (> 90%) near favourable

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


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Ephemeral pools and wetlands; Freshwater lakes and pools  major

Land use

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

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Uningi Pans. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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