|Central coordinates||32o 52.00' East 8o 11.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The Rukwa trough is a blocked branch of the Western Rift Valley. It lies parallel to Lake Tanganyika and is connected to the rift in the north-west by the flood-plain of Katavi National Park (TZ002) and the Karema Gap. The valley lies at an elevation of 790 m and is enclosed on both sides by escarpments. To the south-west the land rises steeply to 2,664 m on the Ufipa plateau and to the north-east in a series of smaller scarps and rolling hills to 1,707 m at Mount Sange. The lake has no outlets. Water-levels fluctuate widely with a grassy plain often separating the valley into two lakes, both of which may dry out completely following several years of low rainfall. The lake level is presently higher than at any other time in living memory, having been steadily rising since the 1960s. There is usually an impressive wetland of papyrus Cyperus papyrus and reed Phragmites at the northern end of the lake where the Rungwa river and a number of smaller streams form a wide, shallow delta.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis||winter||1955||abundant||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus||winter||1955||abundant||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus||winter||1955||40,000-60,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus||winter||1995||11,906 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris||winter||1995||1,500 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||-||50,000-99,999 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Lukwati||Game Controlled Area||200,000||protected area overlaps with site||100,000|
|Mlela||Game Controlled Area||30,000,000||protected area is adjacent to site||0|
|Rukwa||Game Controlled Area||40,000,000||protected area overlaps with site||200,000|
|Uwanda||Game Reserve||50,000,000||protected area overlaps with site||400,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||3%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity A number of large mammals occur, including Kobus vardoni (LR/cd). Loxodonta africana (EN) probably still occurs. There is an endemic fish Oreochromis rukwaensis.
References Albrecht (1964), Baker (1997), Beesley (1956), Britton (1980), Condry (1967), Dean (1963), Gunn (1954), Hughes and Hughes (1992), Rodgers (1978), Rodgers (1982), Vesey-FitzGerald (1954, 1957a, b, c), Vesey-FitzGerald and Beesley (1960).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Rukwa. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/08/2014
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