|Location||Cameroon, Far North Province|
|Central coordinates||14o 42.00' East 11o 20.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box and Table 3 for key species. Waza National Park harbours, together with the contiguous Logone flood-plain (CM002), some 379 bird species. Other species of global conservation concern include Marmaronetta angustirostris, observed only in 1976, Aythya nyroca, recorded in 1967 and 1976, Aquila clanga, seen in 1978, Falco naumanni, which was common in the 1970s, but recently has only been recorded in 1993 and 1997, and Neotis nuba, which has been recorded once, in 1998. The park contains important populations of grassland species such as Ortyxelos meiffrenii, an estimated 100–200 Ardeotis arabs and holds the last Struthio camelus population in Cameroon, with c.100 individuals. Waterbird counts have recorded, in addition to those listed below, up to 15,000 Dendrocygna viduata while the 1,000+ Balearica pavonina are thought to represent at least 5% of the western population of this species. More than 20,000 waterbirds are thought to be present most of the year.
Site description Waza National Park is located in the transition zone between the Sahel and Sudan savanna. The park, situated immediately east of the town of Waza, lies less than 10 km from the borders with both Nigeria and Chad. It is bounded to the east and north-east by the Logone flood-plain (CM002) and to the west by the Maroua–Kousséri road. The southern and extreme western parts are covered by sandy soils that support a wooded Sclerocarya birrea and Anogeissus leiocarpus savanna. Most of the park is, however, covered by heavy clay soils and is extremely flat. The north-eastern corner is annually flooded and is covered by perennial grass species such as Echinochloa pyramidalis, Oryza longistaminata and, less commonly, Hyparrhenia rufa and Vetiveria nigritana. A few raised areas, supporting Tamarindus indica and Balanites aegyptiaca trees, constitute the only variation in this open landscape. Large stretches of annual grasses and herbs, interspersed by Acacia seyal shrublands, cover the central and western parts of the park, most of which used to be seasonally inundated prior to the construction of the Maga dam, which lies to the south-east.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Garganey Anas querquedula||winter||-||25,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus||winter||-||1,800 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Fox Kestrel Falco alopex||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus||winter||-||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Arabian Bustard Ardeotis arabs||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Near Threatened|
|Nubian Bustard Neotis nuba||resident||2000||-||-||Near Threatened|
|Savile's Bustard Eupodotis savilei||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black Crowned-crane Balearica pavonina||winter||-||1,000 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|African Collared-dove Streptopelia roseogrisea||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sahelian Woodpecker Dendropicos elachus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Piapiac Ptilostomus afer||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sennar Penduline-tit Anthoscopus punctifrons||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-pate Cisticola Cisticola ruficeps||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|River Prinia Prinia fluviatilis||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Purple Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-bellied Starling Lamprotornis pulcher||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black Scrub-robin Cercotrichas podobe||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser superciliosus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bush Petronia Petronia dentata||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-rumped Waxbill Estrilda troglodytes||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||-||-||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Parc National de Waza||UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve||170,000||is identical to site||170,000|
|Waza||National Park||140,707||protected area contained by site||140,707|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||88%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Harvesting natural products.|
Other biodiversity Waza holds some of the last large-mammal concentrations in central West Africa. Of particular conservation interest are Gazella rufifrons (VU) and Damaliscus lunatus korrigum (VU), the former apparently increasing, and the latter the only sizeable population in Cameroon. In addition, the population of c.1,300 Loxodonta africana (EN) has a major impact on the structure of the Acacia seyal shrublands and is a regular source of conflict with farmers at distances of up to 100 km from the park.
Management considerations The area was gazetted as a Hunting Reserve in 1937, a National Park in 1968, declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1979 and has been proposed, together with the Logone flood-plain, as the first Ramsar Site for Cameroon. Waza National Park was, until recently, the best-managed protected area in Cameroon and has, through its collaboration with the IUCN Waza-Logone project, a management plan and a functioning local steering committee. Trials are under way for the regulated harvesting of some natural products (straw, gum-arabic) inside the park, exploitation of which has never ceased since the park was created. A recent drop in number of park guards has, however, put pressure on these attempts, especially because of continued commercial poaching. Waza has been affected by Maga dam, constructed in 1979, which resulted in a decrease of annual flooding and the consequent degradation of the flood-plain vegetation. This led to a massive reduction in antelope populations. The digging of artificial waterholes has assured year-round water availability, but the carrying capacity of the flood-plain has remained low. Flood-plain rehabilitation, which started in 1994, has had some impact on the interior of Waza.
References Scholte (1996, 2000), Scholte and Dowsett (2000), Scholte et al. (1996, 1999), Scholte, Kirda et al. (2000), Scholte, de Kort et al. (2000), Tchamba (1996), Thiollay (1978), van Wetten and Spierenburg (1998).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Waza National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013
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