|Central coordinates||39o 4.74' East 8o 23.52' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||1996|
Site description Koka dam and Lake Gelila are on the Awash river in East Shewa Zone, 75 km south-east of Addis Ababa. The road to the dam is a 10-km track to the south of the main Mojo–Nazaret road. The shores of Lake Gelila can be reached via the Great Rift Valley road from Mojo to Meki, which passes over the Awash river about 20 km south of Mojo. Koka dam was built to provide hydroelectric power and came into operation in 1960. The resulting freshwater lake, Lake Gelila, has an area of c.180 km², and originally had a storage capacity of 1,850 million m3, although sedimentation has reduced this by 35%. The other main habitats are the surrounding farmland, an area of partly protected woodland beside the dam site, and the river and hot-spring area below the dam. Lake Gelila and its shoreline used to be fairly clear of vegetation, but Eichhornia crassipes has invaded the area and is spreading rapidly. As a result of crop cultivation the only large trees that are left in the area are figs, e.g. Ficus vasta and a few others generally associated with churches or other ceremonial places. The main activity in the area is farming and the most widely grown crop is Eragrostis tef. The farmers using the alluvial soil around the lake also grow horticultural crops and pulses, particularly haricot beans.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor||winter||-||present||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus||passage||-||frequent||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Common Crane Grus grus||winter||1969-1976||1,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Basra Reed-warbler Acrocephalus griseldis||passage||1996||present||-||A1||Endangered|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||-||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||20%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
References Halcrow and Partners (1989a, b).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Koka dam and Lake Gelila. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/09/2014
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