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Location Ethiopia, Oromiya
Central coordinates 39o 46.14' East  5o 33.30' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 93,000 ha
Altitude 800 - 1,500m
Year of IBA assessment 1996

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society



Site description This site comprises the middle section of the Genale river which forms the border between Bale and Borena Zones, and lies to the east of the Borena Zonal capital, Negele. This section of the river stretches as far north as the Sidamo–Bale bridge, where the track from Goba crosses the river, and south to the Baratieri falls, where the river crosses into El Kere Zone of Somali Region. The Genale river forms a major part of the Genale–Dawa–Weyb basin, the third-largest in the country in terms of land area, draining 168,000 km² of southern Ethiopia. The river rises in the Sidamo highlands, flowing south-east to Dolo on the Somalia border. The major tributaries are the Welmel, Dumal and Web, all originating in the Bale mountains. The lower section of the Genale river valley is described under Bogol Manyo–Dolo (site ET068). The Sidamo–Bale bridge, at 1,200 m, is at the head of a wide, gently sloping valley over 100 km long, which ends with the Baratieri falls at c.800 m. The sides of the valley rise to over 1,500 m and are especially steep on the western side towards Negele. Little is known about the vegetation in this area. Open woodland dominated by various Acacia spp. prevails in the middle Genale basin, and riparian vegetation occupies a narrow strip along the river. The largest trees are probably Ficus sycamorus, Mimusops kummel and Tamarindus indica. There are probably also reedbeds and other aquatic plants in the riverbed. The gently sloping valley floor is used for rain-fed and irrigated crop production, and many domestic animals graze in the valley.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. This area is important for Tauraco ruspolii and Streptopelia reichenowi. Tauraco ruspolii has been found in the north of the site, near where the Goba–Negele road crosses the Genale river. Both Streptopelia reichenowi and Ploceus dichrocephalus are suspected to occur beside and along the riverbed. A survey in July 1996 recorded 97 species, including P. dichrocephalus. Accipiter ovampensis is also known to occur.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Trachyphonus darnaudii resident  1996  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Red-and-yellow Barbet Trachyphonus erythrocephalus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Collared-dove Streptopelia reichenowi resident  1996  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Red-bellied Parrot Poicephalus rufiventris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ruspoli's Turaco Tauraco ruspolii resident  1996  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
White-bellied Go-away-bird Criniferoides leucogaster resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus somaliensis resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Von der Decken's Hornbill Tockus deckeni resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pringle's Puffback Dryoscopus pringlii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mouse-coloured Penduline-tit Anthoscopus musculus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-headed Sparrow-lark Eremopterix signatus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Boran Cisticola Cisticola bodessa resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Chatterer Turdoides rubiginosa resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted White-eye Zosterops abyssinicus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shelley's Starling Lamprotornis shelleyi resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Golden-breasted Starling Cosmopsarus regius resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kenya Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes orientalis resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shining Sunbird Nectarinia habessinica resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Buffalo-weaver Dinemellia dinemelli resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Salvadori's Weaver Ploceus dichrocephalus resident  1996  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Purple Grenadier Uraeginthus ianthinogaster resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Straw-tailed Whydah Vidua fischeri resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   39%
Shrubland   1%
Grassland   59%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -

References Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society Survey Team (1996).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Genale river. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/11/2014

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