|Location||Kenya, Rift Valley Province|
|Central coordinates||35o 55.38' East 0o 36.72' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||2,700 - 3,100m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description An extensive area of montane grassland along the crest of the Mau Escarpment, which forms the western wall of the central Rift Valley in Kenya. This high, open plateau runs for c.80 km south-east to north-west, and is bounded on each side (and partially interrupted) by the forests of the Mau forest complex (IBA KE051). Rainfall is c.1,000 mm/year, and the original vegetation is short grassland, with some heather and scrub on the ridges where the soil is deeper. The area has high potential for cultivated agriculture, and has gradually been settled and cultivated since the 1950s; it is now heavily populated, with a landscape severely modified by cultivation. Cereals are the major crops, and much grassland has been converted by ploughing and re-seeding with exotic species to provide better grazing for sheep.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni||passage||1999||present||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Great Snipe Gallinago media||winter||-||uncommon||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Hunter's Cisticola Cisticola hunteri||resident||1999||present||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Aberdare Cisticola Cisticola aberdare||resident||1999||present||-||A2||Endangered|
|Jackson's Widowbird Euplectes jacksoni||resident||1999||present||-||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Sharpe's Longclaw Macronyx sharpei||resident||1999||present||-||A1, A2||Endangered|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Grassland||Grassland - montane||100%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity The fauna and flora of these grasslands has been little studied. A number of plant, insect, amphibian and reptile species that are confined to highland grassland probably occur. There are records of two near-endemic frogs, Hyperolius montanus and Rana wittei. Hyperolius montanus was considered secure in 1980, but it is a species of montane grassland and may now be under threat. The snake Bitis worthingtonii, endemic to the central Kenyan Rift Valley above 1,500 m, probably occurs.
References Sessions (1966).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mau Narok - Molo grasslands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/08/2014
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