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Location Uganda, Kumi
Central coordinates 33o 51.00' East  1o 42.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 25,000 ha
Altitude 1,030 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001


Site description The shallow Lake Bisina covers an area of about 192 km², and is some 32 km long by 6 km wide, with a thin strip of fringing papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) swamp. The major river entering the lake is the Apedura, which flows from the north. It has a 30-km long and up to 6.5-km wide flood-plain. The IBA includes the marsh at the south-western end of the lake, beginning with a shallow part dominated by submerged and partially submerged plants such as Nymphaea, Najas and Ceratophyllum. The lake edge is covered by floating grass Vossia that extends into seasonal Hyparrhenia-dominated grassland. Echinochloa grass also grows extensively in the swamp, forming strong mats on the edges of the marsh

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 
Red-chested Sunbird Nectarinia erythrocerca resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fox's Weaver Ploceus spekeoides resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
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 Bisina Wetland System Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 54,229 protected area contains site 25,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   71%
Unknown   3%
Shrubland   2%
Savanna   10%
Forest   11%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
other -
Notes: Water for domestic use and food during famine.

Other biodiversity Local communities hunt the ungulate Tragelaphus spekii (LR/nt).

References Burgis and Symoens (1987), Mann (1976).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Bisina. Downloaded from on 01/11/2014

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