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Location Uganda, Bushenyi
Central coordinates 30o 9.54' East  0o 7.38' South
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i, A4iii
Area 15,400 ha
Altitude 915 - 1,110m
Year of IBA assessment 2001


Site description The reserve (KWR) lies immediately south of Lake George (a Ramsar Site), and east of Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP: IBA UG007) where the Kazinga Channel leaves the lake, flowing towards Lake Edward. Although KWR has similar ecosystems to QENP, the natural barriers formed by the Kyambura Gorge and Kazinga Channel make it possible to manage the area as a separate entity. KWR serves as a buffer zone for the north-eastern part of QENP.There is no land connection between the reserve and the park, animals simply fording the Kyambura river where it is shallowest during the dry seasons to move between the protected areas. The river gorge supports a high-canopy tropical forest which grades to a swamp-forest and papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) swamp near the river mouth. The eastern border follows Buhindagi river from Lake George, south-east to Kasyoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve (a moist semi-deciduous forest not presently included within the IBA) where the boundaries of the Forest and Wildlife Reserves abut. A road from the main Mbarara–Kasese highway runs up to Kashaka fish-landing site, bisecting the reserve.There are seven volcanic crater-lakes, both fresh and saline, in the reserve, the most significant of which are the saline Lakes Nshenyi, Bagusa and Maseche; Lakes Chibwera, Kinera, Kararo and Kyamwiga have fresh water.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor non-breeding  1999  30,000 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Shoebill Balaeniceps rex resident  1998  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Himantopus himantopus non-breeding  1998  4,100 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Carruthers's Cisticola Cisticola carruthersi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Scrub-warbler Bradypterus carpalis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Papyrus Yellow Warbler Chloropeta gracilirostris resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Red-chested Sunbird Nectarinia erythrocerca resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kyambura Wildlife Reserve 15,400 is identical to site 15,400  
Queen Elizabeth National Park 205,600 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Queen Elizabeth National Park UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 739,500 protected area is adjacent to site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   3%
Wetlands (inland)   12%
Shrubland   7%
Grassland   8%
Forest   68%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
nature conservation and research -
other -
Notes: Firewood collection.

Other biodiversity Threatened mammals include Loxodonta africana (EN), Panthera leo (VU) and Pan troglodytes (EN).

References Allan (1994), Chapin (1953), UNEP (1988a), Zandri and Viskanic (1992).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kyambura Wildlife Reserve. Downloaded from on 28/08/2014

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