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Location Ethiopia, Amhara
Central coordinates 37o 43.80' East  10o 42.84' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 110,000 ha
Altitude 2,800 - 4,070m
Year of IBA assessment 1996

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society



Site description The Choke mountains are to the south of Lake Tana in the centre of Gojam. The nearest large towns are Bahir Dar to the north and Debre Markos to the south. The small towns of Bichena and Mota lie to the east. This large mountain block rises gradually from the surrounding plateau to around 2,800 m, with the highest peak, Mt Choke, at 4,070 m. The Abbay river has cut a deep valley that defines the eastern limits of the area. The area has an inactive volcanic centre composed of basalt with a very thin cover of pyroclastic materials (volcanic ashes). Erosion has resulted in numerous, deeply incised valleys, which were covered with glaciers during the last ice-age. Many small streams originate in the mountains. The most remarkable feature of these mountains is the virtual absence of forest. The major natural habitats are moist moorland with giant Lobelia spp., Alchemilla spp., sedges and tussocks of Festuca spp. and other grasses, montane grasslands and meadows, cliffs and rocky areas. Woody plants, Erica spp., Hypericum revolutum and Arundinaria alpina are only found in patches. Agricultural activity is extensive, with cultivation up to 3,000 m.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Erckel's Francolin Pternistis erckelii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Wattled Ibis Bostrychia carunculata resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spot-breasted Lapwing Vanellus melanocephalus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-collared Pigeon Columba albitorques resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Turtle-dove Streptopelia lugens resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Nyanza Swift Apus niansae resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Thick-billed Raven Corvus crassirostris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Starling Onychognathus tenuirostris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Moorland Chat Cercomela sordida resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tacazze Sunbird Nectarinia tacazze resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Swainson's Sparrow Passer swainsonii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Longclaw Macronyx flavicollis resident  1996  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Ethiopian Siskin Serinus nigriceps resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-rumped Seedeater Serinus tristriatus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Serinus striolatus resident  1996  present  A3  Not Recognised 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Choke mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/09/2014

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