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Location Uganda, Kamuli,Soroti
Central coordinates 33o 25.00' East  1o 15.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 16,500 ha
Altitude 1,030 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001


Site description This site, the Nakuwa area, is in the south-eastern part of the Kyoga system, which is an important natural water reservoir for the Nile. It includes Lakes Nawampasa, Budipa, Nkodokodo and Murlu, as well as swamps in the east, and the northern swamps of Lakes Nakuwa and Kyebiseke. The swamps are predominantly dense papyrus Cyperus papyrus, broken in parts by pools of water forming sudds (clumps of floating papyrus). Sometimes these sudds open up completely, forming small lakes. Some lakes, like Nawampasa, are very shallow and covered by water-lilies Nymphaea, with short sedges (dominated by Cyperus) occupying the drier parts of the fringing papyrus swamp. These shallow areas are important for both waterbirds and surrounding fishing communities

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Shoebill Balaeniceps rex resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
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 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lake Nakuwa Wetland System Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 91,150 protected area contains site 16,500  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   80%
Wetlands (inland)   5%
Forest   13%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -

Other biodiversity Mammals include otters and Tragelaphus spekii (LR/nt). Some of the small lakes in the Kyoga area support rare species of fish, including some that were exterminated in Lakes Victoria and Kyoga by the introduced and predatory Lates niloticus.

References Burgis and Symoens (1987).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Nakuwa. Downloaded from on 21/09/2014

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