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Location Eritrea, Northern Red Sea Zone
Central coordinates 39o 1.86' East  15o 36.78' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 82,000 ha
Altitude 900 - 1,200m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The site lies on the slopes of the Eastern Escarpment running down from the Central Plateau eastwards to the Red Sea. Only a general area of habitat can be identified without more detailed survey work, but there is an area of about 78,000 ha of wet woodland north of the town of Ghinda, the lower slopes of which appear to qualify as an IBA. Further survey work within this general area will be needed to define the boundaries. The area lies about 13 km north-east of Arboroba escarpment (ER008) and about 30 km south-east of Semenawi Bahri (ER003), of which it can be considered an extension in terms of habitat. The habitat is Combretum sp. woodland, but due to higher rainfall in the area (possible in every month other than June and September), the flora is generally richer than in other areas along the Eastern Escarpment. Dominant trees and bushes include Capparis tomentosa, Cordia abyssinica, Rhus abyssinica and Ficus sp. and dense undergrowth includes ferns, Adiantum spp. Coffee was cultivated extensively on terraces in the regions by the Italians and citrus fruits and bananas are grown in the valleys, especially around the town of Ghinda. At the base of the slopes lies Gahtelay Lake (behind Sabarguma Dam), which is important as one of the few areas of open water between the coast and the Central Plateau.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. Species restricted to the Somali–Masai biome include Tockus flavirostris, recorded from only two other IBAs in Eritrea. The site also has records of one Sahara–Sindian biome species, three Sahel biome species and four Afrotropical Highland biome species (Table 2). It is also reported as being ‘outstanding’ for Palearctic migrants, including Falco concolor, Anthus cervinus, Monticola saxatilis, Acrocephalus arundinaceus and Emberiza hortulana. Other records (Palearctic migrants and residents) include Ciconia nigra, C. ciconia, Plegadis falcinellus, Anas clypeata, A. acuta, Burhinus oedicnemus, Milvus migrans, Coturnix coturnix, Jynx torquilla, Motacilla cinerea and Phoenicurus phoenicurus.

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
Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus flavirostris resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-rumped Babbler Turdoides leucopygia resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted White-eye Zosterops abyssinicus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Somali Starling Onychognathus blythii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shining Sunbird Nectarinia habessinica resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rueppell's Weaver Ploceus galbula resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   70%
Shrubland   1%
Grassland   27%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

References EAE (1995), DOE (1999), Murdoch (1998), Smith (1951b), Zinner et al.(1999).

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

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