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Location Kenya, Western Province
Central coordinates 34o 15.00' East  0o 25.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 250 ha
Altitude 1,200 - 1,220m
Year of IBA assessment 2001


Site description This area comprises a chain of small grassland patches (some seasonally flooded) in western Kenya, including Mungatsi (36 ha, 0°27’67”N 34°19’69”E), Matayo (210 ha, 0°23’01”N 34°08’73”E), Sikoma (1 ha, 0°24’03”N 34°11’03”E), and Malanga (3 ha, 0°25’96”N 34°18’44”E). All the patches are surrounded by intensive agriculture, mainly maize and sugarcane, and are grazed by livestock. The most important of them is Mungatsi, located 2 km from Mungatsi market along the Mungatsi–Munami road. This privately-owned site lies on either side of a small stream (a tributary of the River Sio), which is fringed by riverine forest and scrub.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Great Snipe Gallinago media passage  uncommon  A1  Near Threatened 
Speckle-breasted Woodpecker Dendropicos poecilolaemus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Piapiac Ptilostomus afer resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea winter  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Purple Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-bellied Firefinch Lagonosticta rara resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-rumped Waxbill Estrilda troglodytes resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Busia Environmental and Conservation Education Programme 2005


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -
Grassland Grassland - edaphic, wet  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

Other biodiversity These vanishing grasslands have been little studied. On biogeographic grounds, they are likely to have close links with Ugandan grasslands and to contain species that are found nowhere else in Kenya.

References Finch (1989), Nasirwa and Njoroge (1997), Turner and Rose (1989), Zimmerman et al. (1996).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Busia grasslands. Downloaded from on 18/09/2014

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