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Location Congo, The Democratic Republic of the, Katanga
Central coordinates 26o 55.00' East  10o 58.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 14,700 ha
Altitude 1,100 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description An area of swamp, grassland and wooded savanna and an artificial lake in the Lufira valley in south-eastern DR Congo, east of the town of Likasi. The Lufira river is a major tributary of the Congo which rises in southern Katanga. In its upper reaches the river meanders through a large swampy depression situated in the centre of vast alluvial plains. Since the building of a dam in 1926, this depression has been partly flooded and a shallow lake, Lake Lufira (or Lake Tshangalele), has formed. The area comprising the central and peripheral plains and the lake is about 95,000 ha in extent; the flooded parts cover a maximum of c.44,000 ha. The altitude is of the lake is 1,100 m, while the surrounding chain of low mountains rises above 1,300 m. Vegetation-types include permanent swamps with Typha and Cyperus and various savannas (from open and wet to drier, wooded types) characterized by Isoberlinia, Uapaca, Syzygium, Loudetia simplex, Digitaria scalarum, Hyparrhenia rufa, Themeda triandra, Pterocarpus and Acacia. Water-levels in the Lufira are highest during February–March and lowest at the end of the dry season (September–October). Average annual rainfall is c.1,200 mm, with February and March the wettest months. Human population densities vary; they used to be highest on the western side of the lake. The creation of the lake has resulted in the settlement of many fishermen.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Ploceus ruweti is restricted to the swamps bordering Lake Lufira; there is no recent information on its status. Balaeniceps rex has been recorded. There are also records of Falco naumanni and Crex crex. The site may constitute a stop-over site for waterbirds migrating between the lakes and wetlands of the Upper Congo and those of the Upper Zambezi.

Non-bird biodiversity: No information is available, other than that the mammal Loxodonta africana (EN) occurs.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Shoebill Balaeniceps rex resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Racquet-tailed Roller Coracias spatulatus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Böhm's Bee-eater Merops boehmi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Angola Babbler Turdoides hartlaubii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lake Lufira Weaver Ploceus ruweti resident  2000  present  A1, A2, A3  Data Deficient 

IBA Monitoring

2001 not assessed not assessed low

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Not assessed  Not assessed  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Vallée de la Lufira UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 14,700 is identical to site 14,700  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   57%
Shrubland   19%
Forest   22%

Land use

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

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

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