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Location Ethiopia, Oromiya
Central coordinates 38o 17.00' East  7o 12.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 3,640 ha
Altitude 2,020 - 2,120m
Year of IBA assessment 1996

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society

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.

Key Biodiversity 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).

Non-bird 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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus passage  present  A1  Near Threatened 

Protected areas

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

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
nature conservation and research -

References Harries (1989), Hillman (1993), Lewis and Wilson (1977, 1979), Messana and Bereket (1994).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Senkele Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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