email a friend
printable version
Location Kenya, Nyanza Province
Central coordinates 34o 56.00' East  0o 13.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 350 ha
Altitude 1,130 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001


Site description Kusa swamp, at the mouth of River Nyando, is a wetland at the easternmost end of Lake Victoria’s Winam Gulf. Dense stands of papyrus Cyperus papyrus are fringed on the lakeward side by the water grass Vossia cuspidata and along the shore by reeds Phragmites spp.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. Kusa includes a substantial stand of papyrus, and the Near Threatened Laniarius mufumbiri is fairly abundant here. Other Lake Victoria Basin biome species include the papyrus endemics Bradypterus carpalis and Cisticola carruthersi, and it is suspected that Serinus koliensis and the globally threatened Chloropeta gracilirostris are likely to occur.

Non-bird biodiversity: Little information is available. The ungulate Tragelaphus spekii (LR/nt) occurs but is uncommon, and the snake Python sebae has been recorded. Like other wetlands around the shores of Lake Victoria, Kusa is probably an important refuge for a number of the lake’s endemic haplochromine fish species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri resident  1999  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Carruthers's Cisticola Cisticola carruthersi resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Scrub-warbler Bradypterus carpalis resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-chested Sunbird Nectarinia erythrocerca resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2006 not assessed not assessed not assessed


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Permanent herbaceous swamps and bogs; Rivers & streams  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -

References Johnstone and Githongo (1997), Nasirwa and Njoroge (1997).

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Kusa swamp. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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