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Location Tanzania, Kilimanjaro,Tanga
Central coordinates 38o 0.00' East  3o 50.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 250,000 ha
Altitude 230 - 1,620m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description This site is effectively two Game Reserves under a single management unit. The site occupies much of the low-lying country north of the South Pare (TZ063) and the West Usambara mountains (TZ071) and up to the Kenyan border where it abuts Tsavo West National Park (KE025). The eastern part of the site is generally flat, with a gentle slope eastwards towards the Umba river, which forms the south-eastern border of the reserve. In the north-western sector there are a number of hills rising to Ndea at 1,420 m which have scrubby forest with affinities to the montane forest of the South Pare mountains. The Tulsa mountains (1,308 m) in the centre of the reserve are dry, rugged hills with remnant gallery forest. The whole area lies in the rain-shadow of the West Usambara mountains and the only significant surface water is behind two small dams. There are a series of rain-fed pools that are usually dry for several months each year. The woodland which covers much of the reserve is dominated by either Combretum or Acacia–Commiphora thorn-tree communities, with scattered baobabs on the well drained, rocky soils. There are extensive grasslands on the poorer soils, some of which develop into swamps following periods of heavy rainfall.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. At least 405 species are known from the site. Circus macrourus occurs as a passage migrant. The status of Crex crex is unclear, with recent records suggesting that wet grasslands in the reserve may be important for this species on passage. Several species previously unknown from Tanzania have been recorded here in recent years: Tchagra jamesi, Lamprotornis shelleyi, Phoeniculus damarensis, Mirafra pulpa, Sylvietta isabellina and Eremomela flavicrissalis. Apart from Mirafra pulpa, these are all relatively common in similar habitat northwards through Kenya into Somalia and Ethiopia and reflect Mkomazi’s location at the southernmost tip of this arid ecosystem.

Non-bird biodiversity: There is a resident population of Loxodonta africana (EN) associated with the hill-top forests and a transient population that moves within Mkomazi and Tsavo National Park. Panthera leo (VU) and Acinonyx jubatus (VU) occur in low numbers. A project has been initiated to reintroduce Diceros bicornis (CR). Lycaon pictus (EN) are very rare visitors and a reintroduction programme is being considered.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Trachyphonus darnaudii resident  2000  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-and-yellow Barbet Trachyphonus erythrocephalus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Vulturine Guineafowl Acryllium vulturinum resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-necked Francolin Pternistis leucoscepus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  present  A1  Least Concern 
Eastern Chanting-goshawk Melierax poliopterus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Buff-crested Bustard Lophotis gindiana resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-faced Sandgrouse Pterocles decoratus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-bellied Parrot Poicephalus rufiventris resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Go-away-bird Criniferoides leucogaster resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Donaldson-Smith's Nightjar Caprimulgus donaldsoni resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Mousebird Colius leucocephalus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus somaliensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Abyssinian Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus minor resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus flavirostris resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Von der Decken's Hornbill Tockus deckeni resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pygmy Batis Batis perkeo resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rosy-patched Bush-shrike Rhodophoneus cruentus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Three-streaked Tchagra Tchagra jamesi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pringle's Puffback Dryoscopus pringlii resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Long-tailed Fiscal Lanius cabanisi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Taita Fiscal Lanius dorsalis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Somali Tit Parus thruppi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mouse-coloured Penduline-tit Anthoscopus musculus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Friedmann's Lark Mirafra pulpa resident  2000  present  A1, A3  Data Deficient 
Red-winged Lark Mirafra hypermetra resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pink-breasted Lark Mirafra poecilosterna resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ashy Cisticola Cisticola cinereolus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tiny Cisticola Cisticola nanus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Wren-warbler Camaroptera simplex resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-vented Eremomela Eremomela flavicrissalis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Somali Crombec Sylvietta isabellina resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Banded Warbler Sylvia boehmi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scaly Chatterer Turdoides aylmeri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Chatterer Turdoides rubiginosa resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted White-eye Zosterops abyssinicus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shelley's Starling Lamprotornis shelleyi resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hildebrandt's Starling Lamprotornis hildebrandti resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Golden-breasted Starling Cosmopsarus regius resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fischer's Starling Spreo fischeri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Magpie Starling Speculipastor bicolor resident  2000  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Bare-eyed Thrush Turdus tephronotus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Grey Flycatcher Bradornis microrhynchus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kenya Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes orientalis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hunter's Sunbird Nectarinia hunteri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-bellied Sunbird Nectarinia nectarinioides resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Parrot-billed Sparrow Passer gongonensis resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Buffalo-weaver Dinemellia dinemelli resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fire-fronted Bishop Euplectes diadematus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-capped Cordonbleu Uraeginthus cyanocephalus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Purple Grenadier Uraeginthus ianthinogaster resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-rumped Waxbill Estrilda charmosyna resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Silverbill Lonchura griseicapilla resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Straw-tailed Whydah Vidua fischeri resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Golden Pipit Tmetothylacus tenellus resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pangani Longclaw Macronyx aurantiigula resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 
Somali Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza poliopleura resident  2000  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Mkomazi National Park 32,450,000 protected area contained by site 100,000  
Umba Game Reserve 15,000,000 protected area contained by site 150,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   17%
Shrubland   5%
Grassland   73%
Forest   3%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
hunting -
nature conservation and research -

References Anderson (1967), Anstey (1958), Coe et al. (1998), Harris (1972), Harris and Fowler (1975), Lack (1994), Lack et al. (1999), Mwageni (1992), Parker and Archer (1970).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mkomazi Game Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

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