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Location Uganda, Rakai
Central coordinates 31o 35.00' East  0o 55.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i, A4iii
Area 54,000 ha
Altitude 1,130 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

NatureUganda



Site description The Sango Bay area, north of the Uganda–Tanzania border, adjoins the Lake Nabugabo area (IBA UG016) to the north. The main road between Masaka and Mutukula at the Tanzanian border marks its western limit; its eastern limit is the Lake Victoria shoreline. There are wetlands, grasslands and forests.In total, the forests within this site cover c.15,000 ha. There are five Forest Reserves: Kaiso, Tero East and West, Namalala and Malabigambo. All are of a rather homogeneous nature, broadly classified as swamp-forest, formerly important for its Podocarpus timber species, most of which have been logged out over the past 100 years. The canopy is generally lower than that of medium-altitude mixed evergreen forest, although many of the component species are the same. The area is considered of biogeographic interest because it lies in the transition between the East and West African vegetation zones. There is evidence that the area was a Pleistocene refugium.The Malabigambo Forest is contiguous with Minziro Forest of neighbouring Tanzania (IBA TZ055). The site also contains a mosaic of wetland types, including permanent and seasonal swamp-forests, papyrus Cyperus papyrus swamps, herbaceous swamps interspersed with palms, and seasonally flooded grasslands. The Sango Bay wetlands are extensive, stretching along the shores of Lake Victoria from Kyabasimba in the south to Malembo in the north. In areas such as Kyabasimba, the shoreline is varied, with sandy shores, rocky shores, forested shores and a fishing village. The shoreline of the bay itself is fringed by papyrus, merging into the extensive flood-plains of the Bukora river delta. The bay is relatively unsheltered and experiences serious wave action. As a result, there is little fringing water-hyacinth Eichhornia, unlike bays in the Entebbe area. At Sango Bay itself, there is a small fish-landing site and an old disused pier, whose structures are important roosts for birds.At the mouth of the River Kagera, the shore is relatively exposed, with mainly sandy shores merging into papyrus swamp. The deposition of silt carried by the Kagera has led to the creation of a wide shallow belt with a sandbar at the river mouth.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus winter  100,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Afep Pigeon Columba unicincta resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Psittacus erithacus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Not Recognised 
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx mechowi resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Black-shouldered Nightjar Caprimulgus nigriscapularis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Sabine's Spinetail Rhaphidura sabini resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
African Dwarf-kingfisher Ceyx lecontei resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Kingfisher Alcedo leucogaster resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill Bycanistes subcylindricus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Barbet Buccanodon duchaillui resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Hairy-breasted Barbet Tricholaema hirsuta resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Buff-spotted Woodpecker Campethera nivosa resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-eared Woodpecker Campethera caroli resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Golden-crowned Woodpecker Thripias xantholophus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
African Shrike-flycatcher Megabyas flammulatus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut Wattle-eye Platysteira castanea resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Jameson's Wattle-eye Platysteira jamesoni resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Western Black-headed Oriole Oriolus brachyrhynchus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-headed Crested-flycatcher Trochocercus nitens resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Crested-flycatcher Elminia nigromitrata resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea winter  2001  82 individuals  unknown  A1  Vulnerable 
Masked Apalis Apalis binotata resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Apalis rufogularis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Not Recognised 
Olive-green Camaroptera Camaroptera chloronota resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Greenbul Andropadus gracilis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Plain Greenbul Andropadus curvirostris resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Spotted Greenbul Ixonotus guttatus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Toro Olive Greenbul Phyllastrephus hypochloris resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Icterine Greenbul Phyllastrephus icterinus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Xavier's Greenbul Phyllastrephus xavieri resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Common Bristlebill Bleda syndactylus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Nicator Nicator chloris resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow Longbill Macrosphenus flavicans resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Green Hylia Hylia prasina resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Green Crombec Sylvietta virens resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Illadopsis Illadopsis fulvescens resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Sharpe's Pied-babbler Turdoides sharpei resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Purple-headed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureiceps resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Ant-thrush Neocossyphus poensis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Flycatcher-thrush Stizorhina fraseri resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Alethe diademata resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Not Recognised 
Forest Robin Stiphrornis erythrothorax resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Lowland Akalat Sheppardia cyornithopsis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-throated Tit-flycatcher Myioparus griseigularis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Green Sunbird Anthreptes rectirostris resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Little Green Sunbird Nectarinia seimundi resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird Nectarinia cyanolaema resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Green-throated Sunbird Nectarinia rubescens resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Red-chested Sunbird Nectarinia erythrocerca resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Superb Sunbird Nectarinia superba resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Vieillot's Black Weaver Ploceus nigerrimus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Crested Malimbe Malimbus malimbicus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Malimbe Malimbus rubricollis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
White-collared Oliveback Nesocharis ansorgei resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kaiso Forest Reserve 1,891 protected area contained by site 1,891  
Malabigambo Forest Reserve 11,081 protected area contained by site 11,081  
Namalala Forest Reserve 2,398 protected area contained by site 2,398  
Tero (East) Forest Reserve 1,069 protected area contained by site 1,069  
Tero (West) Forest Reserve 2,684 protected area contained by site 2,684  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   12%
Unknown   2%
Wetlands (inland)   12%
Shrubland   5%
Savanna   5%
Forest   61%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
water management -

Other biodiversity Plants of conservation interest include Pseudagrostistachys ugandensis, a grass not known elsewhere in Uganda, and Podocarpus usambaransis vardawei, an endemic variety. Loxodonta africana (EN) is the only globally threatened mammal species found in the area, but near-endemic mammals include Colobus guereza adolfi-friederici, which is restricted to Sango Bay in the Ugandan part of its range, and Cercopithecus mitis doggetti, which occurs at Sango Bay as part of a limited range in south-western Uganda.

References Francis and Penfold (1991), Friedmann and Williams (1969), Howard (1991), Kasoma and Pomeroy (1996), Katende and Pomeroy (1997), Langdale-Brown et al. (1964).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sango Bay area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/04/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife