|Location||Kenya, Eastern Province|
|Central coordinates||37o 29.00' East 0o 54.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This is by far the largest reservoir of the five impoundments along the upper Tana river, and abuts on the eastern side with Mwea National Reserve (IBA KE032). Masinga dam, which is managed by the Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority, was completed in 1981. The valley that it drowned has a highly convoluted shoreline and contains a number of sizeable islands. The maximum depth is c.50 m, near the dam wall. Because of periodic draw-down and flooding, the shoreline is bare ground with a mosaic of deposited silt, pebbles and mud. Further from the water, a narrow strip of grass gives way to open Acacia–Commiphora bushland. The area is semi-arid with an annual rainfall of between 250 and 500 mm.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Masinga is notable mainly for its waterbirds, with breeding colonies of cormorants and Anhinga rufa. The terrestrial avifauna is not particularly diverse, but the threatened and restricted-range Turdoides hindei has been recorded in Acacia thickets 100–200 m from the eastern shores of the reservoir (and see Mwea National Reserve, IBA KE032). Regionally threatened species include Anhinga rufa (Masinga is one of the few known Kenyan nesting sites; 94 birds were counted in February 1999, with 228 altogether on the five Upper Tana dams); Casmerodius albus (260 in March 1995); and Polemaetus bellicosus (status unknown).
Non-bird biodiversity: The dam supports substantial populations of Hippopotamus amphibius and Crocodylus niloticus. There is no information on other fauna or flora.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus||winter||1995||2,120 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - seabirds||winter||-||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|2007||not assessed||not assessed||not assessed|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Artificial wetlands||100%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
References Nasirwa (1997), Nasirwa et al. (1995a,b), Oyugi and Owino (1998a,b, 1999).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Masinga reservoir. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2014
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