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Location Ethiopia, Oromiya
Central coordinates 39o 11.00' East  4o 43.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 0 ha
Altitude 1,000 - 1,100m
Year of IBA assessment 1996

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society



Site description The Dawa river and Wachile plains are in southern Borena Zone. A bridge crosses the Dawa river on the Negele–Arero road, 50 km from Wachile. Wachile village is a natural meeting place for traders and travellers in the area with Mega, Moyale, Arero and Negele all within 150 km. The topography of the site is a combination of very flat plains, river valley and some hills. The Dawa river is the largest tributary of the Genale river and forms part of the Genale–Dawa basin. It drains nearly a third of Genale’s 168,000 km² basin area and has a total length of 450 km. The flow of the river, like the rains over the catchment, is highly seasonal. The Dawa river starts as the Mormora and Awata rivers that flow down the eastern slopes of the Sidamo mountains (that support the Anferara forests, site ET058) between Dila and Bore. The Dawa river then loops round in a south-easterly direction until it joins the Ethiopia–Kenya border near Melka Mure and continues east along the border for 150 km until joining the Genale river at Dolo on the Ethiopia–Somalia border. A number of seasonal rivers and streams feed into the Dawa. The largest trees in the riverine forest along this lower section of the Dawa river are Diospyros mespliformis, Ficus sycamorus, Mimusops kummel, Tamarindus indica and African mahogany Trichilia emetica. Shrubs of Ficus capreaefolia cover much of the bank, and there are reedbeds in the river. The Wachile plain is mostly covered with bushland and thickets. Most of the species remain bare during the long dry season making evergreen species such as Acokanthera schimperi, Dobera glabra, Euclea racemosa schimperi and Salvadora persica highly conspicuous. The more numerous deciduous species primarily comprise Acacia spp., Commiphora spp., Boswellia microphylla and B. neglecta. Some trees emerge above these bushes. Species of particular interest in this area are Delonix elata, Kirkia tenuifolia, Melia volkensii and Terminalia orbicularis, with Terminalia polycarpa on the rocky slopes. The whole area is too dry for crops to grow, and consequently the Borena people have formed a highly developed pastoralist society. There are many small ponds built by the local people to provide water over a wide area for their animals. They also have very deep hand-dug wells that tap underground water. The other important economic activity throughout the dry southern parts of Borena is the collection of gums and resins, particularly from trees of Commiphora and Boswellia.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. This area is important for Streptopelia reichenowi, which is found along the Dawa river, particularly to the north of the bridge, where more than 30 have been recorded in stands of riverine trees. Ploceus dichrocephalus is found in the same area as S. reichenowi, breeding in the reedbeds along the Dawa river. So far, 45 Somali–Masai biome species are known from the site. During a survey in June 1996, Tmetothylacus tenellus, Dryoscopus pringlii, Laniarius ruficeps, Turdus tephronotus, Cisticola nanus, Batis perkeo, Nectarinia hunteri and Nectarinia nectarinioides were all found in the arid Acacia bush and scrub habitats of the Wachile plains. A yet-to-be-identified species of babbler has been found in the riverine thicket below the Dawa river bridge.

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
Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala 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 
Buff-crested Bustard Lophotis gindiana 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  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 
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 
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 
Red-naped Bush-shrike Laniarius ruficeps 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 
Somali Tit Parus thruppi resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mouse-coloured Penduline-tit Anthoscopus musculus resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Boran Cisticola Cisticola bodessa 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 
Somali Crombec Sylvietta isabellina resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Banded Warbler Sylvia boehmi 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 
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-bellied Sunbird Nectarinia nectarinioides resident  1996  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-capped Social-weaver Pseudonigrita cabanisi 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 
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 
Golden Pipit Tmetothylacus tenellus 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 

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
urban/industrial/transport -
other -
Notes: Collection of gums and resins.

References Boka (1996), Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society Survey Team (1996), Friis (1992), Munoz (1976), Robertson (1994), Smith and Smith (1996), Sorenson et al. (1996), Syvertsen (1995b), Torstein (1992), Water Resources Development Authority (1976, 1987), Yigezu (1996).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dawa - Wachile. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/11/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife