|Central coordinates||38o 17.00' East 7o 12.00' North|
|Altitude||2,020 - 2,120m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box for key species. Among the 191 bird species recorded from the sanctuary are nine Afrotropical Highlands biome species, four Somali–Masai biome species, and two globally threatened species, of which one is Aquila clanga. Birds of particular note include Mycteria ibis, Bostrychia carunculata, Gyps africanus, Circaetus gallicus, Terathopius ecaudatus, Melierax metabates, Buteo rufinus, Aquila pomarina, Accipiter castanilius (representing probably the first Ethiopian record), Numida meleagris, Ardeotis kori and Eupodotis melanogaster (common).
Site description Senkele Sanctuary is in East Shoa Zone, 53 km south of Shashemene, and c.300 km south of Addis Ababa. The vegetation in the sanctuary is best described as montane savanna, and comprises various different habitat associations such as savanna woodland, natural grassland (with fewer trees and shrubs) and, in the valleys, rich shrubland. In the surrounding area, livestock and crop production are the major sources of income. The Sanctuary is the only available grazing land in the Zone, and over 10,000 cattle depend on the area during the rainy season. The resultant reduction in space and the poor quality of grazing land have forced the livestock and native mammals to compete. It has also compromised the integrity of feeding and breeding habitats for many bird species. Since the early 1990s, a large portion of the Sanctuary has been cultivated under maize Zea mays and beans Phaseolus vulgaris, which has severely reduced the amount of land available to wildlife.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus||passage||-||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Senkelle Swayne's Hartebeest||Sanctuary||5,400||protected area contains site||3,640|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity None known. However, the Senkele Sanctuary was established to conserve the threatened endemic subspecies Alcephalus buselaphus swaynei (EN), which is present along with populations of at least 37 other mammal species.
Management considerations During the 1990s, the area came under increasing human pressure, significantly impacting the habitat available to the native wildlife. Many new settlements (over 1,400 huts) have been established in and immediately around the Sanctuary. Although efforts have been made to prevent habitat loss, a lack of law enforcement, the volatile political conditions and a lack of alternatives available to the local people have resulted in continuing encroachment and habitat conversion. Local people cut shrubs and trees (e.g. Acacia spp., Terminalia glaucescens, Albizia schimperiana) for house construction and firewood. In July 1999, over 100 women (each with a donkey) were seen collecting firewood from inside the Sanctuary, an activity that apparently occurs on two days each week. The dominant grass species, Pennisetum schimperi, is harvested for use in house construction. The protected status of this Sanctuary urgently needs upgrading within the government system. Recommendations have been made to establish a more effective, multiple-use system of wildlife conservation and human land-use. Zoning within the Sanctuary has been proposed as follows: a wildlife zone reserved for the exclusive use of the wildlife, and within which there is no human utilization of the resources; a grazing zone where limited grazing would be allowed during the wet season; a sylvi-pastoral zone for limited grazing and limited utilization of the woody vegetation; and a buffer zone between the Sanctuary and the surrounding crop land.
References Harries (1989), Hillman (1993), Lewis and Wilson (1977, 1979), Messana and Bereket (1994).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Senkele Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2013
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