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Location Uganda, Bundibugyo
Central coordinates 30o 3.60' East  0o 49.56' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 22,000 ha
Altitude 670 - 760m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

NatureUganda



Site description This park, sometimes referred to as Bwamba forest, lies in the Albertine Rift Valley, north-west of the Rwenzori mountains, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Lamia and Semliki rivers bound the park to the west and north, and the Fort Portal–Bundibugyo road forms part of its boundary to the south. The Park is contiguous with the DRC’s Virunga National Park (IBA CD010) and with the small North Rwenzori Forest Reserve in Uganda. Much of its flat to gently undulating landscape is poorly drained and floods during rainy seasons. Much of the park (c.19,500 ha) is covered by forest, which is classified as moist semi-deciduous and which is dominated over large areas by a single tree species, Cynometra alexandrii. Swamp-forest communities occupy about 7% of the area, dominated by Mitragyna, oil-palm Elaeis and Ficus. The breakdown of law and order in the 1970s and early 1980s resulted in about 30% of the original forest cover being cleared for agriculture and settlement. However, the encroachers were evicted in 1988 and 1990, and the forest is now slowly regenerating.The Semliki forest is cut off from the rest of East Africa by the natural barrier of the Rwenzori massif. Its forests represent an easterly extension of the great Ituri forest of north-eastern DRC and its flora and fauna show strong affinities with the Congo-Basin forests. There are also strong affinities between the people and cultures of Bwamba and those of neighbouring DRC.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Trachyphonus purpuratus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Speckled Tinkerbird Pogoniulus scolopaceus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-rumped Tinkerbird Pogoniulus atroflavus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-throated Tinkerbird Pogoniulus subsulphureus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Barbet Buccanodon duchaillui resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hairy-breasted Barbet Tricholaema hirsuta resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Nahan's Partridge Ptilopachus nahani resident  1998  present  A3  Endangered 
Forest Francolin Peliperdix lathami resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spot-breasted Ibis Bostrychia rara resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk Accipiter castanilius resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-legged Sparrowhawk Accipiter erythropus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Long-tailed Hawk Urotriorchis macrourus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura pulchra resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Nkulengu Rail Himantornis haematopus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Great Snipe Gallinago media winter  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Afep Pigeon Columba unicincta resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-naped Pigeon Columba albinucha resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Black-collared Lovebird Agapornis swindernianus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Psittacus erithacus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx mechowi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx olivinus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-throated Cuckoo Chrysococcyx flavigularis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-chested Owlet Glaucidium tephronotum resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut Owlet Glaucidium castaneum resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Caprimulgus nigriscapularis resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Bates's Nightjar Caprimulgus batesi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sabine's Spinetail Rhaphidura sabini resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-throated Roller Eurystomus gularis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher Halcyon badia resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Dwarf-kingfisher Ispidina lecontei resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Kingfisher Corythornis leucogaster resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black Bee-eater Merops gularis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Forest Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus castaneiceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bycanistes fistulator resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Tropicranus albocristatus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Tockus fasciatus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Tockus hartlaubi resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Dwarf Hornbill Lophoceros camurus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes subcylindricus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes cylindricus resident  1998  present  A3  Vulnerable 
Black-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna atrata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cassin's Honeybird Prodotiscus insignis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spotted Honeyguide Indicator maculatus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Willcocks's Honeyguide Indicator willcocksi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lyre-tailed Honeyguide Melichneutes robustus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Piculet Verreauxia africana resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Buff-spotted Woodpecker Campethera nivosa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-eared Woodpecker Campethera caroli resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-crested Woodpecker Dendropicos xantholophus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-sided Broadbill Smithornis rufolateralis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green-breasted Pitta Pitta reichenowi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Shrike-flycatcher Megabyas flammulatus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ituri Batis Batis ituriensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut Wattle-eye Platysteira castanea resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Jameson's Wattle-eye Platysteira jamesoni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Chestnut-bellied Helmet-shrike Prionops caniceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fiery-breasted Bush-shrike Malaconotus cruentus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-eyed Puffback Dryoscopus senegalensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sooty Boubou Laniarius leucorhynchus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Western Black-headed Oriole Oriolus brachyrhynchus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-winged Oriole Oriolus nigripennis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-headed Crested-flycatcher Trochocercus nitens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Crested-flycatcher Elminia nigromitrata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-capped Flycatcher Erythrocercus mccallii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Blue Swallow Hirundo nigrita resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Carruthers's Cisticola Cisticola carruthersi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Apalis rufogularis resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Yellow-browed Camaroptera Camaroptera superciliaris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-green Camaroptera Camaroptera chloronota resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Greenbul Andropadus gracilis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Plain Greenbul Andropadus curvirostris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Honeyguide Greenbul Baeopogon indicator resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Simple Greenbul Chlorocichla simplex resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Swamp Greenbul Thescelocichla leucopleura resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Leaf-love Pyrrhurus scandens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Toro Olive Greenbul Phyllastrephus hypochloris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Greenbul Phyllastrephus albigularis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Icterine Greenbul Phyllastrephus icterinus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Icterine Greenbul Phyllastrephus icterinus resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Least Concern 
Xavier's Greenbul Phyllastrephus xavieri resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Common Bristlebill Bleda syndactylus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lesser Bristlebill Bleda notatus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green-backed Bulbul Criniger chloronotus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-tailed Bulbul Criniger calurus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Nicator Nicator chloris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-throated Nicator Nicator vireo resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow Longbill Macrosphenus flavicans resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Longbill Macrosphenus concolor resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Hylia Hylia prasina resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-crowned Eremomela Eremomela badiceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Crombec Sylvietta virens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lemon-bellied Crombec Sylvietta denti resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scaly-breasted Illadopsis Illadopsis albipectus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Illadopsis Illadopsis fulvescens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Capuchin Babbler Phyllanthus atripennis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Purple-headed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureiceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-winged Starling Onychognathus fulgidus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Narrow-tailed Starling Poeoptera lugubris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Ant-thrush Neocossyphus poensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Flycatcher-thrush Stizorhina fraseri resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Forest Ground-thrush Zoothera oberlaenderi resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Grey Ground-thrush Zoothera princei resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Alethe diademata resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Forest Robin Stiphrornis erythrothorax resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lowland Akalat Sheppardia cyornithopsis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-shouldered Robin-chat Cossypha cyanocampter resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Forest Scrub-robin Erythropygia leucosticta resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sooty Flycatcher Muscicapa infuscata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky-blue Flycatcher Muscicapa comitata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cassin's Grey Flycatcher Muscicapa cassini resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-throated Tit-flycatcher Myioparus griseigularis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scarlet-tufted Sunbird Anthreptes fraseri resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Sunbird Anthreptes rectirostris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Little Green Sunbird Nectarinia seimundi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird Nectarinia cyanolaema resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green-throated Sunbird Nectarinia rubescens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tiny Sunbird Nectarinia minulla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-chested Sunbird Nectarinia erythrocerca resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Superb Sunbird Nectarinia superba resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Orange Weaver Ploceus aurantius resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Vieillot's Black Weaver Ploceus nigerrimus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-mantled Weaver Ploceus tricolor resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Maxwell's Black Weaver Ploceus albinucha resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-bellied Malimbe Malimbus erythrogaster resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Gray's Malimbe Malimbus nitens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Crested Malimbe Malimbus malimbicus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Malimbe Malimbus rubricollis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Woodhouse's Antpecker Parmoptila woodhousei resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita fusconotus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita bicolor resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pale-fronted Negrofinch Nigrita luteifrons resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-collared Oliveback Nesocharis ansorgei resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grant's Bluebill Spermophaga poliogenys resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Semuliki National Park 22,000 protected area contains site 21,900  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   3%
Unknown   7%
Forest   89%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
other -
Notes: Collection of forest products.

Other biodiversity Semliki Forest is outstandingly rich in wildlife—the area is believed to have been a forest refugium during the last arid period of the Pleistocene era, when conditions elsewhere on the continent were too dry to support forest vegetation. The park fauna is very rich and includes eight species of diurnal forest primate, as well as 51 species of forest swallowtail and Charaxes butterflies, including Papilio antimachus (DD). Milicia excelsa (LR/nt), Cordia millenii and Lovoa swynnertonii (EN) are forest trees considered endangered in the area. One species of primate and eight other mammals, as well as one butterfly, are only recorded from this area in East Africa. Threatened mammals include Loxodonta africana (EN) and Pan troglodytes (EN).

References Friedmann and Williams (1969), Howard (1991), Rossouw and Sacchi (1998), Sande (1996), UNEP (1988b), UNDP/WTO (1993), Wilson (1995).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Semliki National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/08/2014

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