|Location||Ethiopia, Southern Peoples' Region|
|Central coordinates||37o 45.00' East 5o 15.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3|
|Altitude||800 - 2,000m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box and Table 3 for key species. The site supports at least 120 species, many of which are Somali–Masai biome species. The northern side of the Segen river is the type- and only locality for Mirafra pulpa in Ethiopia. The species has not been recorded since it was first collected in 1912. Other species of interest are Gypaetus barbatus, Melierax metabates, Lonchura griseicapilla, which has a distribution limited to the south of the country, and Serinus reichardi. In this area Pycnonotus barbatus schoanus of the western highlands and Great Rift Valley is replaced by P. barbatus dodsoni, which occurs across to Yabello and the east. There appears to be no hybrid zone, suggesting species-level status for each taxon. However, the situation regarding these two forms requires further study in the area. It is also possible that Melierax canorus and M. metabates occur more or less alongside each other in this area, with M. metabates occurring to the west and M. canorus to the south-east of the Konso hills.
Site description Konso is a special Wereda in North Omo Zone. The main village of the Konso people is Karat, 90 km south of Arba Minch. The seasonal Segen river (which originates in Lake Chamo) flows through Konso (1,640 m) on its way to join the Weyto, and then terminating in Lake Chew Bahir. The Segen river circles the Konso hills. Segen village sits on top of a highland area c.40 km north of Konso. The Konso hills are an old volcanic area that contains large blocks of marble. The hills are highly dissected and covered with scrubby vegetation, largely comprising broadleaved species. The most common small trees and shrubs are Combretum spp. and Terminalia spp. There are also several species of Acacia. The most disturbed areas have only bushes and often get covered with aggressive climbers like Pterollobium stellatum. On exposed rocky areas there are clumps of Aloe spp. Bushland and thickets are found on the lower parts of the Konso hills and in patches in the Segen valley. Acacia and Commiphora spp. are common, along with some Grewia spp. Where they have not been cleared, the banks of the Segen have luxuriant riverine vegetation with tall trees of Ficus sycamorus, Tamarindus indica, Mimusops kummel and Garcinia buchananii, and many small trees and shrubs, all of which can be festooned with climbers, particularly cucurbits and the intriguing legume, Clitoria ternatea. The Konso people have a unique and sustainable agricultural system that involves the building and maintaining of stone terraces and careful fertilization (with manure) of the fields. A central feature of their fields is the endemic tree crop called Moringa stenopetala. The main annual crop is sorghum, along with some root crops and cotton. The women maintain the stone walls and care for the crops, while the men build and maintain the houses, spin and weave, and carve.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Eastern Chanting-goshawk Melierax poliopterus||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Buff-crested Bustard Eupodotis gindiana||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-bellied Parrot Poicephalus rufiventris||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-bellied Go-away-bird Corythaixoides leucogaster||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus somaliensis||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus flavirostris||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Von der Decken's Hornbill Tockus deckeni||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-and-yellow Barbet Trachyphonus erythrocephalus||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|D'Arnaud's Barbet Trachyphonus darnaudii||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Friedmann's Lark Mirafra pulpa||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A3||Data Deficient|
|Somali Crombec Sylvietta isabellina||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Scaly Chatterer Turdoides aylmeri||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Rufous Chatterer Turdoides rubiginosa||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Shelley's Starling Lamprotornis shelleyi||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Golden-breasted Starling Cosmopsarus regius||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bristle-crowned Starling Onychognathus salvadorii||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Magpie Starling Speculipastor bicolor||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Kenya Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes orientalis||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Hunter's Sunbird Nectarinia hunteri||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Shining Sunbird Nectarinia habessinica||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Parrot-billed Sparrow Passer gongonensis||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-headed Buffalo-weaver Dinemellia dinemelli||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Purple Grenadier Uraeginthus ianthinogaster||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-rumped Waxbill Estrilda charmosyna||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Somali Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza poliopleura||resident||1996||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Segen Valley||Controlled Hunting Area||39,876||protected area contained by site||39,876|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Cutting trees for charcoal, firewood and carving.|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
Management considerations Hunting, clearance for agriculture, overgrazing and excessive soil erosion are major threats to the biodiversity of the area. Undisturbed woodlands cannot be found in the Konso area. It is possible that the increase in population has put great demand on the trees of the area. However, the most likely cause of deforestation is the demand for fuelwood and charcoal in expanding centres like Arba Minch, and the introduction of a cash economy to the Konso peoples. The demand for wood for carving could rise dramatically, as Konso is an area attracting increasing numbers of adventurous tourists. The wooden totem figures made to commemorate the dead are particularly sought after.
References Ash (1992), Syvertsen (1995b).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Konso - Segen. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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