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Location Rwanda, Cyangugu,Gikongoro
Central coordinates 29o 17.28' East  2o 31.98' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 100,000 ha
Altitude 1,700 - 2,950m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

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



Site description Nyungwe forest is situated in south-west Rwanda between Lake Kivu and the international border with Burundi, where it is contiguous with Kibira National Park (BI002). Nyungwe is divided north–south by a line of mountains that reach 2,600–2,900 m and which form part of the Congo–Nile watershed. As a result, Nyungwe is composed of two areas differing in pedology, vegetation, water-flow and biodiversity. The soils in the western section are schists and support dense forest between 1,700–2,000 m. The eastern part, on granitic soils, lies higher (2,200–2,500 m) and the vegetation here is, characteristically, secondary forest with many clearings. Over 250 tree species have been recorded. The forest is dominated by Chrysophyllum, Entandophragma and Newtonia at lower altitudes. Syzygium guineense, Carapa grandiflora, Parinari excelsa, Strombosia, Symphonia, Beilschmiedia and Ocotea usambarensis are found in mature forest. Macaranga, Maesa and Harungana and Neoboutonia occur in secondary areas, while Hagenia is found along roads and around the eastern depression. On the summits and rocky soils the forest is dominated by Philippia benguellensis and Erica kingaensis. Extensive stands of bamboo Arundinaria alpina occur in the south-east. Numerous montane bogs occur, of which the largest, in Kamiranzovu Crater in the west, is c.900 ha. Average annual rainfall is in the range 1,500–2,500 mm; amounts decline from west to east, with the south-west the wettest.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. A total of 275 species have been recorded in Nyungwe, reflecting the wide habitat diversity and altitudinal range. The presence or status of some species requires confirmation including, in particular, that of Phodilus prigoginei, Muscicapa lendu and Nectarinia rockefelleri, which are all globally threatened, restricted-range and biome-restricted. An additional six species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome are known from Nyungwe from one or two records only and may no longer occur (Table 3). After the Itombwe mountains (CD013) in eastern DR Congo, Nyungwe is the probably most important forest for the conservation of montane birds in the region; it is certainly the most important in Rwanda.

Non-bird biodiversity: Although plant diversity is high, the level of endemism is low, with Pentadesma reindersii and a few herbaceous species and orchids currently only known from Nyungwe. Thirteen species of primate occur including Pan troglodytes (EN), Colobus angolensis ruwenzorii (VU), Cercopithecus l’hoesti (LR/nt), C. hamylni (LR/nt) and, although very rare here, C. mitis kandti (EN). One species, Cercopithecus ascanius, is almost extinct locally due to the clearance of the lower-altitude forest; Nyungwe is the only site in Rwanda from which it was known. Nyungwe holds many Albertine Rift endemics, including seven of the 12 species of Soricidae, one species of bat, Rousettus lanosus, two species of squirrels, Funisciurus carruthersi (VU) and Heliosciurus ruwenzori, five of the 12 species of Muridae and the chameleon Chamaeleo johnstoni). An amphibian is endemic to Nyungwe, the caecilian Boulengerula fischeri. Two species of butterfly are endemic to Nyungwe (Bebearia dowsetti and Acraea turlini) while Papilio leucotaenia (VU), restricted to a small area of the Albertine Rift, occurs commonly in Nyungwe.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Trachyphonus purpuratus resident  1998  unknown  A3  Not Recognised 
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 
Cassin's Hawk-eagle Aquila africana resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura pulchra resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Afep Pigeon Columba unicincta resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Turtle-dove Streptopelia lugens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Psittacus erithacus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Ruwenzori Turaco Gallirex johnstoni resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Congo Bay-owl Phodilus prigoginei resident  1998  unknown  A2, A3  Endangered 
Bubo poensis resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Red-chested Owlet Glaucidium tephronotum resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Albertine Owlet Glaucidium albertinum resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Caprimulgus ruwenzorii resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Not Recognised 
Scarce Swift Schoutedenapus myoptilus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Trogon Apaloderma vittatum resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater Merops oreobates resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Forest Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus castaneiceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes subcylindricus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dwarf Honeyguide Indicator pumilio resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Willcocks's Honeyguide Indicator willcocksi resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Campethera tullbergi resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Buff-spotted Woodpecker Campethera nivosa resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
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-bellied Crested-flycatcher Elminia albiventris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Crested-flycatcher Elminia albonotata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Tit Parus funereus 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 
Apalis argentea resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Not Recognised 
Chestnut-throated Apalis Apalis porphyrolaema resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Mountain Greenbul Andropadus nigriceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shelley's Greenbul Andropadus masukuensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Neumann's Warbler Hemitesia neumanni resident  1998  present  A2, 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 
Violet-backed Hyliota Hyliota violacea 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 
Grauer's Warbler Graueria vittata resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-browed Crombec Sylvietta leucophrys resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-collared Mountain-babbler Kupeornis rufocinctus resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Mountain Illadopsis Illadopsis pyrrhoptera resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-chested Babbler Kakamega poliothorax resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Hill Babbler Pseudoalcippe abyssinica 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 
Stuhlmann's Starling Poeoptera stuhlmanni 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 
Forest Robin Stiphrornis erythrothorax resident  1998  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Equatorial Akalat Sheppardia aequatorialis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Robin-chat Cossyphicula roberti resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Archer's Robin-chat Cossypha archeri resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher Melaenornis ardesiacus resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher Dioptrornis fischeri resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chapin's Flycatcher Muscicapa lendu resident  1998  unknown  A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Little Green Sunbird Nectarinia seimundi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-headed Sunbird Nectarinia alinae resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird Nectarinia cyanolaema resident  1998  present  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 
Rockefeller's Sunbird Nectarinia rockefelleri resident  1998  unknown  A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Purple-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia purpureiventris resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Bronze Sunbird Nectarinia kilimensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-billed Weaver Ploceus melanogaster resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Strange Weaver Ploceus alienus resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Brown-capped Weaver Ploceus insignis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita fusconotus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-faced Crimson-wing Cryptospiza reichenovii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Crimson-wing Cryptospiza salvadorii 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 
Dusky Twinspot Euschistospiza cinereovinacea resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
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 
Oriole Finch Linurgus olivaceus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 medium not assessed high
unset
Unknown

Energy production and mining mining and quarrying past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - dams (size unknown) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented  high 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Nyungwe National Park 103,000 protected area contains site 90,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   98%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
water management -
other -
Notes: Firewood collection.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nyungwe National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

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