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Location Congo, Plateaux,Pool
Central coordinates 15o 25.00' East  3o 0.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 630,000 ha
Altitude 310 - 780m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description This site represents a good sample of the Téké Plateau in the south-east of the country, a scenic undulating grassy plateau which stretches over c.58,000 km² in Congo. The relief is rather broken in places, with large cliffs of eroded limestone and rocky outcrops dotted about on ridges. Much of the forest is restricted to galleries along rivers (including swamp-forest, some with Raphia palms), but some patches of dry forest and thicket persist on high ground. The other main habitats are Loudetia simplex grassland (very extensive, probably largely fire-induced) and Hymenocardia acida wooded grassland. Some ponds and lakes are found locally in depressions. A number of small villages occur along the roads (one of which enters the reserve in the north; others border the eastern and northern edges).

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. The avifauna is still incompletely known (the main survey covered only a week), but numbers at least 239 species and is expected to hold at least 300. The forest component (nearly 100 species) is poorer than further north or west, but includes species such as Bostrychia rara and Scotopelia bouvieri. In addition to good populations of Francolinus finschi and Ploceus nigrimentum, another endemic of the Téké–Angola plateau, Myrmecocichla tholloni, occurs in large numbers in Loudetia grassland (population estimated at over 20,000 pairs). The Léfini is so far the only locality where the two closely-related Cisticola brunnescens and C. (b.) cinnamomeus are known to coexist, the former in dry grassland (where very common), the latter in grassy swamps (where very local). Other common grassland species include Eupodotis senegalensis, Vanellus lugubris, Mirafra africana, Anthus leucophrys and A. brachyurus. Merops breweri is locally common at the forest/grassland ecotone and Jynx ruficollis in wooded grassland. The little-known Phedina brazzae is recorded from neighbouring localities and could be expected to occur; there is one record of Nectarinia congensis from the eastern edge of the reserve, but it could be more widespread. More research is needed. In addition, two species of the Zambezian biome (A10), Lanius souzae and Sylvietta ruficapilla, occur in wooded grassland.

Non-bird biodiversity: Large mammals have been over-hunted in the past, but Syncerus caffer nanus (LR/cd), Tragelaphus spekii (LR/nt), various duikers and primates (including Cercopithecus neglectus) still occur.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Speckled Tinkerbird Pogoniulus scolopaceus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-throated Tinkerbird Pogoniulus subsulphureus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Finsch's Francolin Scleroptila finschi resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spot-breasted Ibis Bostrychia rara resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura pulchra resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Afep Pigeon Columba unicincta resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Western Bronze-naped Pigeon Columba iriditorques resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Psittacus erithacus resident  1999  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Green Turaco Tauraco persa resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx mechowi resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx olivinus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Gabon Coucal Centropus anselli resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Vermiculated Fishing-owl Scotopelia bouvieri resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-throated Roller Eurystomus gularis resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher Halcyon badia resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Dwarf-kingfisher Ispidina lecontei resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Kingfisher Corythornis leucogaster resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black Bee-eater Merops gularis resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Bee-eater Merops breweri resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rosy Bee-eater Merops malimbicus breeding  1999  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Tropicranus albocristatus resident  1999  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Tockus fasciatus resident  1999  present  A3  Not Recognised 
White-thighed Hornbill Bycanistes albotibialis resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-eared Woodpecker Campethera caroli resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut Wattle-eye Platysteira castanea resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sooty Boubou Laniarius leucorhynchus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-headed Crested-flycatcher Trochocercus nitens resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-vented Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone rufocinerea resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Square-tailed Saw-wing Psalidoprocne nitens resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Blue Swallow Hirundo nigrita resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Apalis rufogularis resident  1999  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Yellow-browed Camaroptera Camaroptera superciliaris resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Greenbul Andropadus gracilis resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Honeyguide Greenbul Baeopogon indicator resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Swamp Greenbul Thescelocichla leucopleura resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Leaf-love Pyrrhurus scandens resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lesser Bristlebill Bleda notatus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Nicator Nicator chloris resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Hylia Hylia prasina resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Crombec Sylvietta virens resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-winged Starling Onychognathus fulgidus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Flycatcher-thrush Stizorhina fraseri resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Forest Flycatcher Fraseria ocreata resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-browed Forest Flycatcher Fraseria cinerascens resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cassin's Grey Flycatcher Muscicapa cassini resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scarlet-tufted Sunbird Anthreptes fraseri resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Violet-tailed Sunbird Anthreptes aurantium resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird Nectarinia cyanolaema resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Congo Sunbird Nectarinia congensis resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Johanna's Sunbird Nectarinia johannae resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-chinned Weaver Ploceus nigrimentus resident  present  A1  Least Concern 
Gray's Malimbe Malimbus nitens resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Crested Malimbe Malimbus malimbicus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita fusconotus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita bicolor resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pale-fronted Negrofinch Nigrita luteifrons resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Western Bluebill Spermophaga haematina resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Léfini Faunal Reserve 630,000 is identical to site 630,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   2%
Shrubland   38%
Grassland   32%
Forest   25%

Land use

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

References Dowsett-Lemaire (1997b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Léfini Faunal Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014

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