|Central coordinates||39o 24.00' East 14o 41.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A2, A3|
|Altitude||1,800 - 2,500m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box and Table 2 for key species. The restricted-range Myrmecocichla melaena was recorded among bare granite rocks and scrub, and breeding in cracks in cliff-faces in the southern mountains above 1,800m around Senafe and Guna Guna in the 1950s. It has also been recorded more recently (1998) at Senafe. It seems likely, from the accounts of Smith, that Rougetius rougetii will occur in this site. Although he does not mention the species at Senafe, Smith visited the nearby area around Adi Caieh and records the species as ‘characterizing small upland streams with adjacent willows, rank grass and marshy vegetation’ around and above 1,800 m. The Afrotropical Highlands biome species Bostrychia carunculata is recorded from only one other IBA and a further six—Columba albitorques, Thamnolaea semirufa, Dioptrornis chocolatinus, Parus leuconotus, Onychognathus albirostris and Corvus crassirostris—are recorded from no other IBA in Eritrea. There are also records of two Somali–Masai biome species from the site; see Table 2.
Site description This site lies towards the south of the country at the southern end of the Eritrean Central Plateau (the northern extent of the highland plateau running up from Ethiopia). This part of the plateau is contiguous with the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia and with the Central Ethiopian highlands Endemic Bird Area (EBA). Bird records from the general area of ‘Senafe and Guna Guna’ (south of Adi Caieh), at an altitude of over 1,800 m, show that the area merits definition as an IBA. Further survey work will be needed to define the boundaries of a site in this general area. Due to its location, 20 km north of the border with Ethiopia, the Senafe area has been a war-zone for many years and there are very few recent survey data for birds or any other groups. The area is similar to the upper slopes of Semenawi Bahri (ER003), with stony hillsides and peaks, deeply incised valleys, rough moorland, tussock-grassland, scrub and Juniperus procera woodland with planted Eucalyptus and shrubby undergrowth. However, there are patches of mixed wet woodland between 2,100–2,500 m, including very tall deciduous trees mingled with figs, Ficus sp., Juniperus sp. and exotic Eucalyptus sp., with ferns among the undergrowth. These woodlands occur in isolated patches at the bottom of sheer cliffs and in ravines from Senafe and Guna Guna, north to Adi Caieh.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Erckel's Francolin Francolinus erckelii||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Wattled Ibis Bostrychia carunculata||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-collared Pigeon Columba albitorques||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-cheeked Turaco Tauraco leucotis||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Nyanza Swift Apus niansae||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Banded Barbet Lybius undatus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Abyssinian Woodpecker Dendropicos abyssinicus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Dark-headed Oriole Oriolus monacha||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Thick-billed Raven Corvus crassirostris||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-backed Tit Parus leuconotus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Brown Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus umbrovirens||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-rumped Babbler Turdoides leucopygia||resident||2000||-||-||Least Concern|
|Somali Starling Onychognathus blythii||resident||2000||-||-||Least Concern|
|Slender-billed Starling Onychognathus tenuirostris||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-billed Starling Onychognathus albirostris||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Rueppell's Chat Myrmecocichla melaena||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-winged Cliff-chat Monticola semirufus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Little Rock-thrush Monticola rufocinereus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher Dioptrornis chocolatinus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Tacazze Sunbird Nectarinia tacazze||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Swainson's Sparrow Passer swainsonii||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Abyssinian Citril Serinus citrinelloides||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Brown-rumped Seedeater Serinus tristriatus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Streaky Seedeater Serinus striolatus||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Not Recognised|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||69%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
Management considerations The site is clearly important as the Eritrean part of the Central Ethiopian highlands EBA and an area within which many of the endemic birds ‘shared’ by Ethiopia and Eritrea occur. This importance is recognized by the Eritrean government and the Senafe area has been flagged as a priority area for further investigation in the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (Duthie pers. comm.) Virtually all of the bird information dates from the 1940s, 1950s and earlier and the effects of the subsequent years of war on biodiversity in the area are unknown.
References Smith (1957).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Senafe. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013
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