|Central coordinates||39o 42.06' East 5o 10.38' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||1,000 - 2,000m|
|Year of IBA assessment||1996|
Site description The Liben plains are an extensive area of flat land that stretches east and south of Negele, the capital of Borana Zone. Negele is over 310 km south-east of Awassa. The plains have formed over an area of bedrock (which includes limestone) between the Genale and Dawa rivers. Excepting some artificial ponds, there are no significant water-bodies in this area. Starting at 1,000 m at the edge of the Genale river gorge, the ground rises gently to over 2,000 m. The site is centred on a flat area at 1,500–1,550 m, 10–40 km south-east of Negele town. Woodlands (comprising small trees and shrubs) border the area, more than 95% of which is covered with long grass and scattered Acacia bushes. Little is known of the plant species involved. The plains have previously been used as a military training site and had a military airport.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Heteromirafra sidamoensis is known only from this area. It has been found 12 km south-east and 2 km south of Negele. Birds probably referring to this species have been seen at other locations nearby on the tracks to Arero and Filtu. A survey in June 1996 recorded 44 species, including Calandrella somalica, Cisticola nanus and Neotis heuglinii. Other Somali–Masai biome species known to occur include Nectarinia hunteri, Tmetothylacus tenellus, Batis perkeo and Laniarius ruficeps. Spreo albicapillus and Passer motitensis have been recorded breeding. The site is also a known location for the uncommon Francolinus coqui.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Heuglin's Bustard Neotis heuglinii||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Buff-crested Bustard Lophotis gindiana||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-faced Sandgrouse Pterocles decoratus||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pygmy Batis Batis perkeo||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-naped Bush-shrike Laniarius ruficeps||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Taita Fiscal Lanius dorsalis||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Liben Lark Heteromirafra sidamoensis||resident||1996||present||-||A1, A2, A3||Critically Endangered|
|Gillett's Lark Mirafra gilletti||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Rufous Short-toed Lark Calandrella somalica||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Tiny Cisticola Cisticola nanus||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Scaly Chatterer Turdoides aylmeri||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-crowned Starling Spreo albicapillus||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Hunter's Sunbird Nectarinia hunteri||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|
|Steel-blue Whydah Vidua hypocherina||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Golden Pipit Tmetothylacus tenellus||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Ethiopian Grosbeak-canary Serinus donaldsoni||resident||1996||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Agricultural expansion and intensification||annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||high|
|Agricultural expansion and intensification||livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||work and other activities||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Invasive and other problematic species and genes||problematic native species/diseases - unspecified species||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Little/none of site covered (<10%)||No management planning has taken place||Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity||low|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
References Ash and Gullick (1989), Ash and Olson (1985), Collar and Stuart (1985), Erard (1975b), Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society Survey Team (1996), Friis (1992), Haugen and Torstein (1992), Robertson (1995).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Liben plains and Negele woodlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/03/2015
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