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Location Tanzania, Rukwa
Central coordinates 31o 50.00' East  6o 45.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 323,000 ha
Altitude 500 - 1,250m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description Katavi lies south-east of Mahali Mountain National Park (TZ005), 40 km east of Lake Tanganyika at Karema, and extends eastwards around the northern shoulder of the Ufipa plateau towards Lake Rukwa (TZ033). The original National Park covered an area of seasonally inundated flood-plain grassland with an associated series of small lakes and swamps, and areas of miombo woodland to the south and west. The park has recently been doubled in size to incorporate more of the wide Kafufu river valley to the west and south-west. It now abuts Mlele Game Controlled Area, which is contiguous with Lukwati Game Reserve, which in turn meets Lake Rukwa. The north-eastern boundary of the park runs along the Mulele Hills which rise (outside the park) to over 1,500 m. The western area of the park forms the eastern boundary of the Karema Gap, a zoogeographical boundary between the Tanzania–Malawi mountains Endemic Bird Area (EBA 105) and the Albertine Rift mountains (EBA 106) to the north-west.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. The site is in an area of south-western Tanzania that is ornithologically poorly known. A full species checklist is not available, but is likely to exceed 400 species. Regular monitoring of waterbirds is likely to reveal that the site regularly holds more than 1% of the biogeographic populations of Pelecanus onocrotalus, Ardeola ralloides, Anastomus lamelligerus and Plegadis falcinellus, but data are not yet available.There are few records of Falco naumanni, but it may be seasonally common on passage. Similarly, Circus macrourus is known from very few records, but the site is within its passage and wintering range. Gallinago media is likely to occur, but there have been no confirmed records. There is a single record of Balaeniceps rex from 1996.The park may support a population of the restricted-range Ploceus reichardi (the distribution of which defines Secondary Area s055), which is known from similar habitat to the west and east. However, there have only been unconfirmed records as yet. In addition, five species of the Somali–Masai biome have been recorded (see Table 3).

Non-bird biodiversity: Among mammals, Loxodonta africana (EN) occur in reasonable numbers and Panthera leo (VU) are found throughout the area.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris winter  1998  300 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Racquet-tailed Roller Coracias spatulatus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Stierling's Woodpecker Dendropicos stierlingi resident  2000  unknown  A3  Near Threatened 
Tabora Cisticola Cisticola angusticauda resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Black-chat Myrmecocichla arnoti resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Rock-thrush Monticola angolensis resident  2000  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Tanzania Masked-weaver Ploceus reichardi resident  2000  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah Vidua obtusa resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2005 medium favourable low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Artificial - terrestrial   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Forest   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Shrubland   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Unknown  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Katavi Forest Reserve 44,710,000 protected area contains site 323,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   10%
Shrubland   73%
Forest   15%

Land use

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

References Campbell (1989), Moreau (1943, 1947), Rodgers (1982).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Katavi National Park. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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