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Location Uganda, Rakai
Central coordinates 31o 47.00' East  0o 47.00' South
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 8 ha
Altitude 1,130 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001


Site description These three rocky islets are about 3 km offshore in Sango Bay. The largest covers about 5 ha, and the next about 3 ha (these are locally known as Ennene (large) and Entono (small) respectively), whilst the smallest is just a rocky outcrop jutting out of the lake. The two larger ones are sparsely vegetated with shrubs and short, weather-beaten trees, especially of Ficus species. The shoreline has no fringing swamp or sandy beaches. The larger island is used periodically by fishermen catching Nile perch Lates niloticus (Mputa) and Rastrineobola argentea (Mukene). A group of fishermen have settled on the island.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Egretta garzetta breeding  500 breeding pairs  A4i  Not Recognised 
Egretta garzetta winter  20,000 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Long-tailed Cormorant Microcarbo africanus breeding  6,000-7,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus breeding  10,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus winter  100,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  50,000-99,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Musambwa islands Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 8 is identical to site 8  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Musambwa Islands Joint Conservation Organisation (MIJCO) 1998


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Rocky areas   100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
urban/industrial/transport -
other -
Notes: Collection of eggs of gulls Larus cirrocephalus.

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

Related state of the world's birds case studies

References Britton (1980), Brown et al. (1982, 1988), Witte et al. (1992).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Musambwa islands. Downloaded from on 22/08/2014

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