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Location Tanzania, Dodoma,Iringa
Central coordinates 35o 50.00' East  7o 5.00' South
IBA criteria A4i
Area 66,000 ha
Altitude 700 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The reservoir was created in 1975, by damming the Ruaha river close to the main road between Iringa and Dodoma. The storage capacity is 125 million cubic metres, with a maximum surface area of c.660 km² which can be reduced to 200 km² at minimum supply level. The maximum depth is 35 m at the dam with a large area of shallows below 8.5 m. The lake has many (estimated at more than one million) standing dead trees. There are areas of rocky shoreline along the inner basin and a variety of habitats along the remaining water-edge, which can include (much depends upon the fluctuating water-levels) extensive areas of reedmace Typha, reed Phragmites, various short grasses, open mud and bare sand. The surrounding area is dry Commiphora–Acacia woodland, characteristic of the central plateau. Just 3 km north of the dam and east of Dodoma road lies Pakwaya Mbuga, a rain-fed temporary wetland.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
African Spoonbill Platalea alba winter  281 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   26%
Wetlands (inland)   36%
Grassland   35%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
water management -

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

References Baker (1995), Baker (1997), SWECO (1985).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mtera reservoir. Downloaded from on 26/10/2014

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