|Central coordinates||38o 27.00' East 8o 53.00' North|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box for key species. This site has been extremely important for Grus carunculatus, with most sightings at Dilu Meda during July–November. In the 1960s, large numbers were occasionally recorded, with up to 63 noted on one occasion, but most often 10–15 birds were present. More recently the numbers have decreased, with maximum counts of six in 1992 and eight in 1993. In August–September 1996, no birds were found, in spite of extensive searches, though four were seen in November that year. The large rodent population in the dry season attracts raptors. Circus macrourus is fairly common during spring and autumn passage, and some birds overwinter with C. pygargus. Small numbers of Falco naumanni pass through on spring and autumn passage, with a few apparently wintering. Buteo augur and Falco tinnunculus are present nearly all year. There is one record of Aquila clanga. Other birds known to occur, particularly during July–September, when the Awash river floods, include Pelecanus onocrotalus (in substantial numbers), Platalea alba and Mycteria ibis. The area is also important for a variety of other wading birds as the waters recede. From late October, up to several hundred Grus grus forage on crop stubble. Small numbers of Balearica pavonina are regularly recorded, and the site is visited by migrant Ciconia nigra. Small numbers of Macronyx flavicollis are resident.
Site description Dilu Meda is east of the Addis–Woliso road, 35 km south-west of Addis Ababa in the Becho plains, West Shewa Zone. The Zonal capital is Ambo, 125 km due west of Addis Ababa. Tefki is a village on a small raised area next to the road that crosses the plains. Dilu Meda and an adjacent area, the Geber Meda, are basins within the wider Becho plains. They comprise flat, seasonally inundated land crossed by the Awash river and surrounded by volcanic hills. Two peaks, Wato Dalecha (2,505 m) and Debel (2,421 m) are situated to north and south respectively of Dilu Meda. Two small rivers, the Sendafa and Dulolo Dilu, feed directly into Dilu Meda. Flood water from the Awash and Holeta rivers covers a large area of the basin from July to September. There are no sizeable beds of bulrush or tall sedges, but a variety of smaller sedges have been found in flooded areas along with Potamogeton spp. and Persicaria spp. Uncultivated grassland around the flooded areas is rich in species, including a number of endemic Trifolium spp. The farming community has developed a sophisticatedsystem for using this difficult area. The soils, with the annual enrichment of silt and alluvium, are rich and can be cropped year after year with cereals, particularly teff and durum wheat. Other crops well adapted to grow on residual moisture are chickpea and grass-pea.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus||passage||-||frequent [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus||winter||1996||4-8 individuals||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Abyssinian Longclaw Macronyx flavicollis||resident||-||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
Management considerations Both Grus carunculatus and G. grus feed on ripe grain (teff) in October–November and are chased from crop fields during this time. The inundation of Dilu Meda during the main rainy season is hazardous for the people and reduces the total amount of land available to cultivation. The Dilu Meda area is now densely settled and intensively used. A management feasibility study of the Becho plains has suggested a range of options to control flooding and increase the area available for cultivation. The option that may be implemented involves constructing a dyke, widening existing river channels, improving the Dulolo river flow and creating a drainage network in Dilu Meda. Complete drainage would reduce the area of suitable land available to Grus carunculatus and other waterbirds. It is currently understood that flood-control measures will only be implemented on Dilu Meda, leaving Geber Meda intact. The almost total destruction of the grassland and swamp has encouraged the spread of invasive weeds such as Amaranthus spinosus, which has vicious spines on both the plant and the fruit and is a major hazard to the feet of people and animals.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dilu Meda (Tefki). Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2013
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