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Location Uganda, Mpigi
Central coordinates 32o 34.00' East  0o 10.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i, A4iii
Area 800 ha
Altitude 1,130 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001


Site description Lutembe Bay is a secluded backwater at the mouth of Lake Victoria’s Murchison Bay, between Kampala and Entebbe. It is shallow, fringed by papyrus Cyperus papyrus, and almost completely cut off from the main body of Lake Victoria by a papyrus island. The dominant vegetation is a mosaic of papyrus on the open waterside, with Miscanthus and Vossia towards the dry land. The bay extends into a Miscanthus swamp and merges with forest remnants to the north and with a recently cleared horticultural farm to the north-west on the landward side. Its protection from the wave action of the open water facilitated the establishment and proliferation of the invasive water hyacinth Eichhornia, although that has recently declined. The bay and its associated swamps are important for the surrounding communities as a source of raw materials for local crafts, building, water for domestic use and, probably more importantly, fish as food and income.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Sterna nilotica winter  500-10,000 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus winter  1997  12,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus winter  500,000-1,500,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
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 
Sharpe's Pied-babbler Turdoides sharpei resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-chested Sunbird Nectarinia erythrocerca resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Papyrus Canary Serinus koliensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1,000,000-2,499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lutembe Bay Wetland System Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 98 is identical to site 800  

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

Name Year formed
Lutembe Wetlands Users Association 2007


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   11%
Wetlands (inland)   55%
Forest   33%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -
other -
Notes: Collection of natural materials for craftmaking and building; collection of water for domestic use.

Other biodiversity Among mammals, the site supports Tragelaphus spekii (LR/nt) and Lutra maculicollis (VU).

References Arinaitwe (1997), Carswell (1986), Rose and Scott (1997), Taylor and Rose (1994).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lutembe Bay. Downloaded from on 21/10/2014

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