|Central coordinates||32o 34.00' East 0o 10.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box and Table 3 for key species. Although Chloropeta gracilirostris has been recorded only once, in papyrus along the bay, it is probably under-recorded in the Lake Victoria swamps. Laniarius mufumbiri is occasionally seen in papyrus, but its abundance is not known. Three additional species of global conservation concern have been recorded: occasional Balaeniceps rex, Rynchops flavirostris and one record of Ardeola idae.A comprehensive inventory of all bird species that occur in the bay is currently being made. Regular waterfowl counts since 1993 show a total of 108 waterbird species at the site, of which 26 are Palearctic migrants. The bay regularly supports 20,000–50,000 roosting waterbirds and, therefore, qualifies both as an IBA and for designation as a Ramsar Site. However, numbers shoot up to 100,000–200,000 and sometimes many more between October and February when there are Palearctic migrants. An estimate of 1,000,000 Chlidonias leucopterus was made in 1994, and counts in July 1999 show that between 500,000–1,500,000 birds roost on muddy islets when the water-level is low. Clearly Lutembe Bay is one of the most important migration stop-over sites in the Lake Victoria basin and a major roost-site for many species, including large congregations of migrant waders. Many Phalacrocorax carbo also feed and roost in the bay, the largest number recorded being 1,448 in July 1998.
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.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus||winter||1997||12,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica||winter||-||500-10,000 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 [units unknown]||-||A1, A3||Near Threatened|
|Carruthers's Cisticola Cisticola carruthersi||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-winged Scrub-warbler Bradypterus carpalis||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Papyrus Yellow Warbler Chloropeta gracilirostris||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A3||Vulnerable|
|Sharpe's Pied-babbler Turdoides sharpei||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-chested Sunbird Nectarinia erythrocerca||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Papyrus Canary Serinus koliensis||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||-||-||unknown||A4iii|
|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.
|Lutembe Wetlands Users Association||2007|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||11%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|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).
Management considerations Lutembe Bay qualifies as an IBA as well as a Ramsar Site. Monitoring procedures need to be instituted to determine the trend of possible impacts of developments around the site such as horticulture, sand-mining and stone-quarrying. Since the site is close to the capital city, Kampala, it obviously has tourist potential. NatureUganda has been holding discussions with various stakeholders with a view to establishing a site-support group. These include flower-farmers, quarry operators, local communities and a resort developer.
References Arinaitwe (1997), Carswell (1986), Rose and Scott (1997), Taylor and Rose (1994).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lutembe Bay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/05/2013
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