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Location Tanzania, Mwanza
Central coordinates 31o 50.00' East  2o 20.00' South
IBA criteria A3, A4i
Area 45,700 ha
Altitude 1,134 - 1,381m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The National Park consists of a main island, 12 much smaller islands and the expanse of water around them. These islands are situated in the south-western corner of Lake Victoria to the north of Emin Pasha Gulf. The islands are forested, with large grassy glades on the main island. The shorelines are a mix of narrow sandy beaches, rock, forest-edge and isolated stands of papyrus Cyperus papyrus.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. No species list exists for the park. Two species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome have been recorded (see Table 3). The smaller islands provide safe nesting sites for species which would formally have bred on the nearby mainland. Ardea goliath occurs in noteworthy numbers with a count of 107 birds, including 12 active nests, in January 1995. During January 1995, some 638 Haliaeetus vocifer were counted within the park, including a single concentration of 166 birds. This is a far higher density than has been recorded elsewhere on Lake Victoria. Numbers of other colonial waterbirds such as Phalacrocorax africanus and Threskiornis aethiopicus may well exceed 1% thresholds seasonally, but no counts have been made. Rubondo main island holds a wide variety of other species, including huge breeding colonies of four species of Ploceus weavers and a relatively dense population of Circaetus cinerascens which are rare in East Africa. During January 1995, an unidentified Batis flycatcher was recorded in forest on the main island.

Non-bird biodiversity: Small populations of endangered mammals were released on the main island during the 1970s including Diceros bicornis (CR), Loxodonta africana (EN) and Pan trogolodytes (EN). Tragelaphus spekii (LR/nt) are common on the main island, as is Lutra maculicollis (VU).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Egretta garzetta winter  1995  4,201 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1995  7,697 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Sharpe's Pied-babbler Turdoides sharpei resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-chested Sunbird Nectarinia erythrocerca resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2002 low favourable low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

No known threats no known threats happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Forest   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Unknown  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Rubondo (Luwondo) National Park 4,570,000 is identical to site 45,700  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   67%
Forest   31%

Land use

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

References Baker (1997), Rodgers et al. (1979).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Rubondo Island National Park. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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