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Location Tanzania, Singida
Central coordinates 34o 42.00' East  4o 18.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 1,100 ha
Altitude 1,500 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description Singida town sits on a raised plateau at the south-western end of the Mbulu Highlands and between the two lakes, Singida and Kandai, which comprise the IBA. The western arm of the Eastern Rift lies to the north and west and the eastern arm to the east. The two lakes are typical Rift Valley lakes and receive rainwater only from the surrounding low-lying hills. Lake Singida is the more alkaline and the more likely to evaporate completely during dry periods. Lake Kindai, although fresher, appears to attract fewer birds, but there is extensive movement between the two. Beyond the northern end of Lake Kindai lies a marsh, its size dependent on lake levels and local rainfall.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Although rarely visited by ornithologists, the lakes are of great importance to waterbirds. Several species probably occur in numbers greater than are currently known, particularly Thalassornis leuconotus. Over 1,000 Pelecanus onocrotalus have been recorded. A count of 7,000 Limosa limosa in December 1993 was by far the highest ever count within East Africa and evidence of a previously unknown wintering population. There are no known counts of flamingos but both species are included here on anecdotal evidence. There is no doubt that both lakes, especially Lake Singida, are seasonally important to the Rift Valley population of these birds. A single flock of more than 1,000 Falco naumanni was recorded on grass plains north-east of the lake, but it is not clear if the site is regularly used.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Red-billed Teal Anas erythrorhyncha winter  1993  30,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  2,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor winter  20,000 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata winter  1993  10,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaticus winter  1995  2,100 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  1993  7,000 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 
Sterna nilotica winter  1994  2,000 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  50,000-99,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   2%
Wetlands (inland)   2%
Grassland   94%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport -
other -
Notes: Trapping of larger waterbirds for international trade.

References Baker (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Singida lakes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/12/2014

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