email a friend
printable version
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

NatureKenya



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.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. Hirundo atrocaerulea, a globally threatened intra-African migrant, is a non-breeding visitor to this area from April to September. It feeds over grassland and over 100 have been recorded roosting at the flooded grassland patch near Mungatsi. Gallinago media is an uncommon Palearctic migrant, likely to occur here regularly but its current status is uncertain. The riverine forest and scrub at Mungatsi also holds several Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome species that are not found in other IBAs. This is also the only Kenyan IBA in which Caprimulgus (pectoralis) nigriscapularis and Sylvietta virens, two Guinea–Congo Forests biome species, are recorded. Regionally threatened species include Circaetus cinerascens, Alcedo quadribrachys (recorded at Mungatsi) and Euplectes hartlaubi (nests in flooded grassland).

Non-bird 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.

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 

IBA Monitoring

2008 high very unfavourable low
  Habitat
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Climate change and severe weather drought happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Invasive and other problematic species and genes introduced genetic material happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of ground water (agricultural use) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Grassland   0 0 moderate (70-90%) poor (40-69%) very unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

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

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

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

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 (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Busia grasslands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/12/2014

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