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Location Angola, Namibe
Central coordinates 12o 35.00' East  16o 54.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 1,592,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 800m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description This is the largest National Park in Angola and is situated in the south-western corner of Namibe, between the Curoca and Cunene rivers. The altitude ranges from sea-level to about 800 m at Posto do Iona and higher in the Tchamalinde Mountains, and there is a gradient in rainfall, from about 100 mm at the coast to 300 mm or more on the eastern boundary of the park. The protected area includes the mouth of the Cunene river, the extensive sand-spit and bay of the Baia dos Tigres and about 200 km of Atlantic coastline. Of particular importance is that the park is contiguous with the Skeleton Coast Park in Namibia, which is itself contiguous with the Namib-Naukluft National Park so that all three protected areas form a continuous block covering some 1,200 km of Namib Desert coastline and adjacent dunes. There are a variety of desert and semi-desert ecosystems in Iona National Park, including mobile dunes along the coast, calcrete plains,desert grasslands of perennial Aristida and Stipagrostis, arid montane shrubland and open woodland and arid savanna. Welwitschia mirabilis is common on gravelly substrates (Huntley 1974b). As a result of the rainfall gradient, the perennial grasslands in the park lead into AcaciaCommiphora semi-arid savanna and, further east, to mopane (Colophospermum mopane) woodland.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Hartlaub's Francolin Francolinus hartlaubi resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
African Penguin Spheniscus demersus winter  present [units unknown]  A1  Endangered 
Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor winter  present [units unknown]  A1  Near Threatened 
Cape Gannet Morus capensis winter  common [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Ludwig's Bustard Neotis ludwigii resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Endangered 
Rueppell's Bustard Eupodotis rueppellii resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Damara Tern Sterna balaenarum winter  common [units unknown]  A1  Near Threatened 
Rueppell's Parrot Poicephalus rueppellii resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Monteiro's Hornbill Tockus monteiri resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Gray's Lark Ammomanes grayi resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Stark's Lark Eremalauda starki resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Barred Wren-warbler Camaroptera fasciolata resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Rockrunner Achaetops pycnopygius resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Bare-cheeked Babbler Turdoides gymnogenys resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Kalahari Scrub-robin Erythropygia paena resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Herero Chat Namibornis herero resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A1, A2, A3  Least Concern 
Karoo Chat Cercomela schlegelii resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Tractrac Chat Cercomela tractrac resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Cinderella Waxbill Estrilda thomensis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Iona National Park 1,515,000 protected area contained by site 1,515,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Rocky areas   19%
Grassland   17%
Desert   62%

Land use

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

Other biodiversity Large herbivores in the park include Diceros bicornis (CR), Equus zebra hartmannae (EN) and Aepyceros melampus petersi (Huntley 1974a). Carnivores include Lycaon pictus (EN), Hyaena brunnea (LR/nt), Acinonyx jubatus (VU) and Panthera leo (VU) (Cabral 1987; Cabral and Simões 1988).

References Huntley (1974a), Huntley and Matos (1994).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Iona National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/04/2014

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