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Location Burundi, Kirundo
Central coordinates 30o 4.00' East  2o 33.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 8,000 ha
Altitude 1,400 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Association Burundaise pour la Protection des Oiseaux (Partner Designate)

Site description Located in the north of Burundi, immediately north of the town of Kirundo close to the Rwandan border, Lake Rwihinda, known in the past as Lac aux Oiseaux (Bird Lake), lies a little way upstream of the Akanyaru wetlands (RW005), to the north-west. The area of the lake is 425 ha, but the total protected area has been extended to cover 8,000 ha.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. In the past, this site held large numbers of breeding Phalacrocorax carbo, Anhinga rufa, Egretta ardesiaca, Ardea melanocephala and Nycticorax nycticorax. Large numbers are rarely observed today, however, due to decreasing water-levels, fishing and agriculture. There are records of Ardeola idea, Circus macrourus, Falco naumanni and Gallinago media. In addition, one species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome, five of the Afrotropical Highlands biome and two of the Zambezian biome have been recorded, while a third, Calamonastes undosus, used to do so, but is now possibly extinct locally due to habitat loss (see Table 3). Indeed, the current status of a number of species at Rwihinda is uncertain.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ring-necked Francolin Scleroptila streptophora resident  1999  present  A3  Near Threatened 
Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri resident  1999  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Carruthers's Cisticola Cisticola carruthersi resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Scrub-warbler Bradypterus carpalis resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Papyrus Yellow Warbler Chloropeta gracilirostris resident  1999  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Sharpe's Pied-babbler Turdoides sharpei resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-chested Sunbird Nectarinia erythrocerca resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-collared Oliveback Nesocharis ansorgei resident  1999  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Red-faced Barbet Lybius rubrifacies resident  1999  unknown  A3  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed low

Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Unknown  Unknown  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lac Rwihinda Nature Reserve 8,000 is identical to site 8,000  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Dukingiribidukikije 2006


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   27%
Shrubland   45%
Forest   27%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
nature conservation and research -

References Bider (1973), Debonnet (1991), Verschuren (1977).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Rwihinda Lake Managed Nature Reserve. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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