|Central coordinates||25o 30.00' East 20o 45.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||900 - 1,000m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description A very large and diverse area between 19°40’S and 21°30’S, and 24°10’E and 26°20’E, once the flat bottom of the old Kalahari Lake, in north-west Botswana. The Makgadikgadi Pans comprise seasonally inundated salt-pans, surrounded by grasslands, low tree-and-bush Acacia savanna and stunted mopane woodland. Along the Boteti river there is well-developed riparian woodland, with tall trees also near Gweta and Odiakwe. Hyphaene palms fringe many drainage courses and extend north to Nxai Pan.There are two main pans, the Sua Pan, fed by the Nata river in the east, and the Ntwetwe Pan in the east. These two large pans are alkaline flats akin to the soda lakes of the Kenyan Rift Valley. The Nata Delta section of Sua Pan rarely dries out completely and is therefore particularly important for waterfowl. Flows vary greatly from year to year; 1987/88 had double the inflow to Sua Pan since records started in 1967. A number of small pans lie to the north and south, including Rysana Pan west of Orapa.The Boteti river flows from the Okavango Delta to the west of the Pans and then across and into the southern part of the site; after heavy rains, pools remain throughout the winter and attract a variety of waterfowl. The Boteti, when it flowed strongly, also discharged into Lake Xau just south of Mopipi, although the Mopipi Dam (more than 16 km²) now intercepts any water. There are concentrations of settlements to the north of the Pans and in the west along the Boteti from Mopipi to Rakops and up to Xhumaga and to the Maun road.Land-uses include tourism (including motorbike safaris), hunting (for trophy, subsistence and bird-trade), and cattle-grazing, which is widespread over adjacent areas of the Pans. There is heavy use of the Boteti river fringes by people and stock, with pressure on the Makgadikgadi National Park from livestock.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus||breeding||-||17,500 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus||winter||-||50,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor||breeding||-||10,000 breeding pairs||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor||winter||-||60,000 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|African Spoonbill Platalea alba||winter||-||369 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus||resident||-||1,500 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus||winter||-||6,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus||winter||-||100 individuals||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta||breeding||-||85 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-banded Plover Charadrius pallidus||breeding||-||135 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Near Threatened|
|Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni||winter||-||5,000 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Burchell's Sandgrouse Pterocles burchelli||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Barred Wren-warbler Camaroptera fasciolata||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Burchell's Glossy-starling Lamprotornis australis||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Kalahari Scrub-robin Erythropygia paena||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||breeding||-||50,000-99,999 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||-||100,000-499,999 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Flamingo||Sanctuary||42,500||protected area contained by site||42,500|
|Makgadikgadi||National Park||487,710||protected area contained by site||487,710|
|Nata Sanctuary||Private Game Reserve||31,000||protected area contained by site||25,000|
Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.
|Nata Santuary Trust||1988|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||1%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity Large ungulates are all declining. Panthera leo (VU) are under severe pressure from livestock owners.
Related state of the world's birds case studies
References Borello (1997), Liversedge et al. (1989), McCulloch (2000), McCulloch and Borello (2000), Penry (1994), Robertson and Johnson (1979), Rutina (1995), Smithers and Paterson (1959).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Makgadikgadi Pans. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/08/2014
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