email a friend
printable version
Location Botswana, Kgateleng
Central coordinates 26o 0.00' East  24o 27.00' South
IBA criteria A4i
Area 620 ha
Altitude 1,000 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife Botswana (Partner Designate)

Site description A reservoir constructed during 1990 and 1991 by damming a tributary of the Ngotwane river just south of the village of Bokaa, less than 20 km north of Gaborone. The body of open water stretches for some 6 km or more and is over 500 m wide at its maximum; it has a north-west side-arm where the Kopong tributary joins the watercourse formed by the Metsemotinaba, Gakgatia and Gamoleele and other tributaries. The dam is surrounded by Acacia savanna, which is used for grazing by many sheep, goats, donkeys and cattle, and away from the reservoir there are some cultivated areas. Some sections of the shore are open bare mud but there are patches of Cyperus, Phragmites and other emergent aquatic vegetation although this is rather sparse and degraded because of pressure from domestic stock. Although the reservoir has a perimeter fence this is broken in several places so stock have access to much of the reservoir edge. One point on the southern shore is used as a picnic site by weekend visitors. The west side of the north-west arm of the reservoir is fringed by taller trees which support a large mixed heronry.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Bokaa Dam occasionally supports small numbers of Pelecanus rufescens. Waterfowl counts between 1991 and 1995 reached a maximum of c.4,000 birds. The only species present in numbers exceeding the 0.5% threshold are Podiceps cristatus (max. 46) and Netta erythrophthalma, numbers of the latter having built up since 1994, usually peaking during the August–October period.

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
Maccoa Duck Oxyura maccoa winter  440 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 
Southern Pochard Netta erythrophthalma winter  605 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2012 very high very unfavourable low
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Climate change and severe weather storms and floods happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Netta erythrophthalma Southern Pochard 10000 3 unknown 1 very unfavourable

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - aquatic   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
tourism/recreation -
water management -

References Bishop (1991–1996), Tyler (2001).

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: Bokaa Dam. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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