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Location Burundi, Cankuzo,Karuzi,Muyinga,Ruyigi
Central coordinates 30o 24.00' East  3o 6.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 43,630 ha
Altitude 1,350 - 1,830m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Association Burundaise pour la Protection des Oiseaux (Partner Designate)

Site description Located in north-eastern Burundi, the park extends south-westwards from the border with Tanzania along a 65 km stretch of the valley of the Ruvubu river. The south-western boundary of the park lies some 20 km to the east of the town of Gitega. The Ruvubu river valley comprises a series of meanders flanked by swamp vegetation, gallery forest and, further inland, savanna woodland. The latter comprises Hyparrhenia grassland with Brachystegia, Julbernardia, Combretum and Terminalia spp. and Acacia seyal plus Pericopsis and Parinari spp. on hillsides. Riverine forest lines the Ruvubu, interspersed with areas of Cyperus papyrus and Phoenix reclinata. There are also areas of flood-plain grassland, while papyrus swamps with sparse Syzygium occur along the drainage lines of the smaller valleys. On the high ridge which forms the southern boundary of the park, Protea sp. is common. The vegetation of the park includes Zambezian elements at the northern limits of their distribution. The rain season extends from October to May.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. More than 200 bird species have been recorded, including Ardeola idae, Circus macrourus, Falco naumanni and Gallinago media. Large numbers of waterbirds occur with counts of over 1,000 Pelecanus onocrotalus and large numbers of Mycteria ibis. Other species recorded include Neotis denhami. In addition, three species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome and 10 of the Afrotropical Highlands biome have also been recorded (see Table 3).

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals of global conservation concern include Panthera leo (VU) and Tragelaphus spekii (LR/nt).

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 
Rufous-bellied Tit Parus rufiventris resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
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 
Angola Babbler Turdoides hartlaubii resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Black-chat Myrmecocichla arnoti resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Rock-thrush Monticola angolensis 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  present  A3  Least Concern 
Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah Vidua obtusa resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Papyrus Canary Serinus koliensis resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lybius minor resident  1999  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Red-faced Barbet Lybius rubrifacies resident  1999  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed low

Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) 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)  
Ruvubu National Park 50,800 is identical to site 43,630  

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

Name Year formed
Dusanurivyasambutse 1998
Tugarukirinzuki 2003
Turwanyubwononyimuriparikeyaruvubu 2008
Turwanyubugaragwa 2008


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   87%
Shrubland   12%

Land use

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

References Debonnet (1991).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Ruvubu National Park. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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