email a friend
printable version
Location Ethiopia, Oromiya
Central coordinates 38o 45.00' East  9o 14.04' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 6,200 ha
Altitude 2,500 m
Year of IBA assessment 1996

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society



Site description The Sululta plain is on the north-east side of Entoto mountain in North Shewa Zone. The village of Sululta is about 20 km north of Addis Ababa. The plain is a wide, shallow valley almost completely surrounded by mountains from which many small rivers drain, feeding the Muger river that flows north-west into the Abbay (Blue Nile). Sululta plain is swampy with some quite large areas of open water in the rainy season, but it reverts to grazing land during the dry months. The surrounding mountainsides were covered with forest dominated by Juniperus procera, and the lower slopes supported groves of Acacia spp. However, most of the hillsides around Sululta are now covered with plantations of Eucalyptus, with only odd native trees remaining, except for the groves protected by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The vegetation on the Sululta plain comprises grasses, sedges and other species such as the endemic Trifolium schimperi, Haplocarpha schimperi and Cerastium spp. The most important grasses are Pennisetum spp. and Andropogon spp. In some areas the water reaches 50 cm deep, and such areas are often covered with floating grasses, particularly Odontelytrum abyssinicum, Potamogeton spp. and Aponogeton abyssinicus. The riverbanks are better drained than the surrounding areas and thus support small bushes, scramblers and the occasional tree. The highland areas surrounding the valleys are intensively cropped. Crop production is heavily dependent on a large population of cattle, which provide oxen for ploughing, and manure that is put on selected fields. The wide valleys provide these cattle with important grazing. Sedges and rushes are used extensively to cover the floors of houses. In Sululta, the farmers cut and bale the mixture of grasses, sedges and herbs, and sell it to the numerous dairy farmers in Addis Ababa.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Blue-winged Goose Cyanochen cyanoptera resident  1996  850 individuals  A1, A3, A4i  Vulnerable 
Wattled Ibis Bostrychia carunculata resident  1996  150 individuals  A3, A4i  Least Concern 
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus passage  frequent  A1  Near Threatened 
White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi breeding  1996  10-15 breeding pairs  A1, A4i  Critically Endangered 
Rouget's Rail Rougetius rougetii resident  1996  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Spot-breasted Lapwing Vanellus melanocephalus resident  1996  120 individuals  A3, A4i  Least Concern 
Great Snipe Gallinago media passage  present  A1  Near Threatened 
White-collared Pigeon Columba albitorques resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Turtle-dove Streptopelia lugens resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Caprimulgus poliocephalus resident  1996  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Nyanza Swift Apus niansae resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Thick-billed Raven Corvus crassirostris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-backed Tit Parus leuconotus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus umbrovirens resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Warbler Sylvia lugens 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 
Moorland Chat Cercomela sordida resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rueppell's Chat Myrmecocichla melaena resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher Dioptrornis chocolatinus 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 
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   20%
Shrubland   79%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
tourism/recreation -
other -
Notes: Cutting of sedges and grasses for domestic use.

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

References Atkinson et al. (1996), Collar and Stuart (1985), Collar et al. (1994), Massoli-Novelli (1986, 1988), Taylor (1996).

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sululta plain. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/09/2014

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