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Location Ethiopia, Amhara
Central coordinates 39o 45.72' East  10o 21.54' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 31,000 ha
Altitude 3,200 - 3,600m
Year of IBA assessment 1996

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society



Site description The Guassa area of Menz is in North Shewa Zone, east of the road that leads from Mezezo to Mehal Meda. The area forms part of the high-altitude plateau of the central Ethiopian highlands at the edge of the Rift Valley escarpment. The Guassa range is a water catchment area for many streams and rivers draining into the low-lying areas of North Shewa. It provides water to two major river systems, namely the Abbay (Blue Nile) to the west and the Awash to the east. The area comprises hills and valleys interspersed with swamps and open areas of montane and alpine grassland. The vegetation is Afro-montane with a diverse herb complement including tussock-grasses such as Festuca spp. (the Amharic name for which is Guassa). Other plants found in the area include Erica spp., Helichrysum spp., Lobelia rhynchopetalum, Thymus spp. and Alchemilla spp.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Francolinus psilolaemus resident  1996  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Erckel's Francolin Pternistis erckelii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-winged Goose Cyanochen cyanoptera resident  1996  present  A3  Vulnerable 
Wattled Ibis Bostrychia carunculata resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Buteo oreophilus resident  1996  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Rouget's Rail Rougetius rougetii resident  1996  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Spot-breasted Lapwing Vanellus melanocephalus resident  1996  136 individuals  A3, A4i  Least Concern 
White-collared Pigeon Columba albitorques resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Turtle-dove Streptopelia lugens resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-winged Lovebird Agapornis taranta 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 
Brown Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus umbrovirens resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Catbird Parophasma galinieri resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Montane White-eye Zosterops poliogastrus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Starling Onychognathus tenuirostris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-billed Starling Onychognathus albirostris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rueppell's Robin-chat Cossypha semirufa resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Moorland Chat Cercomela sordida resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Cliff-chat Monticola semirufus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tacazze Sunbird Nectarinia tacazze 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 
Abyssinian Citril Serinus citrinelloides 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   99%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
other -
Notes: Cutting grass for thatching and domestic products.

Other biodiversity This is one of the last refuges in Northern Shewa Zone for the mammal Canis simensis (CR).

References Tefera (1995).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Guassa Plateau (Menz). Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/10/2014

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