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Location Ethiopia, Oromiya
Central coordinates 38o 31.38' East  4o 50.76' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 249,600 ha
Altitude 1,430 - 2,000m
Year of IBA assessment 1996

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society



Site description Yabello Sanctuary lies 10 km east of Yabello town in Borana Zone, with the Yabello–Arero road passing through its southern part. Precise boundaries for this protected area have not been set. Most of the area is at c.1,700 m, although the topography is broken and varies between 1,430 and 2,000 m. The area is notable for its red soils which have little organic matter. The general vegetation-type is Acacia savanna, the major trees being A. drepanolobium on black cotton soil, and A. brevispica and A. horrida on the slopes. There are also patches of Balanites aegyptiaca, and several species of Commiphora and Terminalia are found at the lower altitudes. The higher parts of the hills used to be covered with Juniperus procera and Olea europaea cuspidata forest. However, only a few patches remain, most of the trees having been cut and the wood taken for construction and other purposes. The dominant land-use is pastoralism, as practised by the Borana people.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Yabello Sanctuary is an important protected area for Hirundo megaenis and Zavattariornis stresemanni, both of which are fairly common, but are confined to this general area. The two species occupy similar habitats, namely open, arid, short-grass country with scattered low Acacia bushes and, in spite of recent land-use changes, neither appears to be under any particular threat. Hirundo megaenis breeds in the main rainy season during April–May, with nests found on rafters inside traditional houses in the Yabello area. There are old records of Falco fasciinucha from the Yabello hills, but none since 1942. During a brief survey in June 1996, 210 species were recorded in the area, including 56 Somali–Masai biome species, many of which appear to be very common. Other interesting species include Francolinus levaillantoides, Campethera cailliautii and Anthus caffer. Caprimulgus donaldsoni and C. stellatus may also occur within the area. In addition, one species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome has been recorded at this site; see Table 3.

Non-bird biodiversity: Alcelaphus buselaphus swaynei (EN) is apparently still present, although very few have been found since 1970. Surveys in 1990 recorded 25 mammal species.

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 
Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-and-yellow Barbet Trachyphonus erythrocephalus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Vulturine Guineafowl Acryllium vulturinum resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-necked Francolin Pternistis leucoscepus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Chanting-goshawk Melierax poliopterus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Little Brown Bustard Heterotetrax humilis resident  1996  present  A3  Near Threatened 
Red-bellied Parrot Poicephalus rufiventris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Go-away-bird Criniferoides leucogaster resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Donaldson-Smith's Nightjar Caprimulgus donaldsoni resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Star-spotted Nightjar Caprimulgus stellatus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus somaliensis resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus minor resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus flavirostris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Von der Decken's Hornbill Tockus deckeni resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hemprich's Hornbill Lophoceros hemprichii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pygmy Batis Batis perkeo resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rosy-patched Bush-shrike Rhodophoneus cruentus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Three-streaked Tchagra Tchagra jamesi resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pringle's Puffback Dryoscopus pringlii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Taita Fiscal Lanius dorsalis resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Somali Fiscal Lanius somalicus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanni resident  1996  present  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Somali Tit Parus thruppi resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mouse-coloured Penduline-tit Anthoscopus musculus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Swallow Hirundo megaensis resident  1996  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Collared Lark Mirafra collaris resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pink-breasted Lark Mirafra poecilosterna resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Short-toed Lark Calandrella somalica resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Masked Lark Spizocorys personata resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Short-tailed Lark Pseudalaemon fremantlii resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Boran Cisticola Cisticola bodessa resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ashy Cisticola Cisticola cinereolus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tiny Cisticola Cisticola nanus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pale Prinia Prinia somalica resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Wren-warbler Camaroptera simplex resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-vented Eremomela Eremomela flavicrissalis resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Banded Warbler Sylvia boehmi resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scaly Chatterer Turdoides aylmeri resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Chatterer Turdoides rubiginosa resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-rumped Babbler Turdoides leucopygia 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 
White-crowned Starling Spreo albicapillus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Magpie Starling Speculipastor bicolor resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bare-eyed Thrush Turdus tephronotus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Grey Flycatcher Bradornis microrhynchus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kenya Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes orientalis resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hunter's Sunbird Nectarinia hunteri resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-capped Social-weaver Pseudonigrita cabanisi resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Somali Sparrow Passer castanopterus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Buffalo-weaver Dinemellia dinemelli resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rueppell's Weaver Ploceus galbula resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Speke's Weaver Ploceus spekei resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Purple Grenadier Uraeginthus ianthinogaster resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-rumped Waxbill Estrilda charmosyna resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Silverbill Lonchura griseicapilla resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Steel-blue Whydah Vidua hypocherina resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Straw-tailed Whydah Vidua fischeri resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ethiopian Grosbeak-canary Serinus donaldsoni resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Canary Serinus dorsostriatus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Somali Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza poliopleura resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

1996 low favourable low
  Habitat
Poor - based on little, or potentially unreliable/unrepresentative, data

No known threats no known threats happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Grassland   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Savanna   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Yabello Sanctuary 249,600 is identical to site 249,600  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Savanna   major
Artificial - terrestrial   1%
Grassland   98%

Land use

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

References Ash and Gullick (1989), Boka (1996), Collar and Stuart (1985), Collar et al. (1994), Dellelegn (1990), Haugen and Torstein (1992), Hillman (1993), Hundessa (1991), Syvertsen (1991), Syvertsen and Dellelegn (1991), Yigezu (1996).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Yabello Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2014

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