email a friend
printable version
Location Rwanda, Gisenyi,Ruhengeri
Central coordinates 29o 31.14' East  1o 28.74' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 16,000 ha
Altitude 2,400 - 4,507m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Association pour la Conservation de la Nature au Rwanda (Affiliate)



Site description The Parc National des Volcans is located in the north-west Rwanda, on the joint border with Uganda and DR Congo, where it is contiguous with Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (UG001) and Virunga National Park (CD010). The park contains eight Pleistocene volcanic peaks which form part of the watershed between the Nile and Congo river systems, and includes Karisimbi (4,507 m). The terrain is often difficult and broken, with steep slopes. The vegetation varies considerably with altitude; at lower elevations (2,400–2,500 m) there is montane forest with Neoboutonia, above which there is a zone of bamboo Arundinaria alpina between 2,500 and 3,200 m, replaced on more humid slopes in the west and south by Hagenia–Hypericum forest. Some open areas are occupied by montane bogs. Subalpine vegetation with lobelias, evergreen bushland and thicket occurs between 3,500–4,000 m, while above 4,000 m there is an Afro-alpine vegetation of heath and thicket grassland. Average annual rainfall at Karisoke (3,100 m) is c.2,000–2,400 mm.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Western Green Tinkerbird Pogoniulus coryphaea resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Handsome Francolin Pternistis nobilis resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Buteo oreophilus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Dusky Turtle-dove Streptopelia lugens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ruwenzori Turaco Gallirex johnstoni resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
African Long-eared Owl Asio abyssinicus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Caprimulgus ruwenzorii resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Not Recognised 
Scarce Swift Schoutedenapus myoptilus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater Merops oreobates resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Campethera tullbergi resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Ruwenzori Batis Batis diops resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Doherty's Bush-shrike Telophorus dohertyi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lagden's Bush-shrike Malaconotus lagdeni resident  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Mountain Boubou Laniarius poensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Oriole Oriolus percivali resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Crested-flycatcher Elminia albonotata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Stripe-breasted Tit Parus fasciiventer resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Chubb's Cisticola Cisticola chubbi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Collared Apalis Oreolais ruwenzorii resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Black-faced Apalis Apalis personata resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-throated Apalis Apalis porphyrolaema resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Mountain Greenbul Andropadus nigriceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grauer's Swamp-warbler Bradypterus graueri resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Bracken Warbler Bradypterus cinnamomeus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mountain Flycatcher-warbler Chloropeta similis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-faced Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus laetus resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Brown Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus umbrovirens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-browed Crombec Sylvietta leucophrys resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mountain Illadopsis Illadopsis pyrrhoptera resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sharpe's Starling Cinnyricinclus sharpii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Waller's Starling Onychognathus walleri resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Starling Onychognathus tenuirostris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Zoothera tanganjicae resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Not Recognised 
Red-throated Alethe Alethe poliophrys resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Equatorial Akalat Sheppardia aequatorialis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Archer's Robin-chat Cossypha archeri resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher Dioptrornis fischeri resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-headed Sunbird Nectarinia alinae resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Northern Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia preussi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Regal Sunbird Nectarinia regia resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Bronze Sunbird Nectarinia kilimensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-tufted Sunbird Nectarinia johnstoni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Strange Weaver Ploceus alienus resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Red-faced Crimson-wing Cryptospiza reichenovii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Crimson-wing Cryptospiza jacksoni resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Shelley's Crimson-wing Cryptospiza shelleyi resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Swee Waxbill Estrilda melanotis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-browed Citril Serinus frontalis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Serinus striolatus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Thick-billed Seedeater Serinus burtoni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Parc national des Volcans UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 12,500 protected area contains site 15,000  
Volcans National Park 12,000 protected area contained by site 12,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   35%
Shrubland   31%
Savanna   4%
Forest   28%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

Other biodiversity The park is best known for the mountain gorilla Gorilla gorilla beringei (CR), a subspecies endemic to the Virunga mountains and Bwindi Forest in Uganda. Other threatened mammals include Cercopithecus mitis kandti (EN) and Loxodonta africana (EN).

References Harcourt and Fossey (1981), Wilson (1986).

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: Volcans National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/10/2014

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