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Location Zambia, Western
Central coordinates 22o 37.00' East  14o 32.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 366,000 ha
Altitude 1,000 - 1,050m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)



Site description Vast plains cover most of the area which remains comparatively poorly known. During and after the rains much of this area floods or becomes partially inundated and as the dry season progresses this water recedes leaving numerous small pans. There are also small stretches of Diplorhynchus scrub, woodland of various formations (including types dominated by Burkea africana and Baikiaea plurijuga) and patches of riparian forest. The entire park is situated just north of Kalabo, between the Luambimba and Luanginga rivers.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. Huge numbers of waterbirds can congregate at this site. Egretta vinaceigula is a regular visitor; concentrations of more than 10 are not uncommon and groups of over 30 have been recorded. Grus carunculatus is a common resident or visitor—counts have exceeded 1,000 individuals at times. Glareola nordmanni and Charadrius asiaticus are both abundant passage migrants, and the site is clearly of exceptional importance for the former species, which has been recorded recently in tens of thousands with some regularity (while one estimate in 1977 was of hundreds of thousands of birds). To date, this is the only known Zambian breeding locality for Chlidonias hybridus. Mirafra apiata and Spizocorys conirostris have isolated populations in the general area and other grassland birds include Falco rupicoloides, Neotis denhami and Eupodotis senegalensis. Recently, large numbers of Turnix hottentotta have been recorded, although these may be seasonal.

Non-bird biodiversity: A wide variety of mammals occur, including Panthera leo (VU), Lycaon pictus (EN), Acinonyx jubatus (VU) and, in particularly large numbers, Connochaetes taurinus—the largest protected population in Zambia (Jeffery et al. 1989, 1996).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
African Spoonbill Platalea alba winter  150 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Slaty Egret Egretta vinaceigula winter  80 individuals  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni winter  present  A1  Least Concern 
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus winter  1,000 individuals  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaticus winter  250 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni passage  20,000-100,000 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida winter  150 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Racquet-tailed Roller Coracias spatulatus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Souza's Shrike Lanius souzae resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-bellied Tit Parus rufiventris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Tit Parus griseiventris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chirping Cisticola Cisticola pipiens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-capped Crombec Sylvietta ruficapilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Angola Babbler Turdoides hartlaubii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sharp-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis acuticaudus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia talatala resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Firefinch Lagonosticta nitidula resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fuelleborn's Longclaw Macronyx fuellebornii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2005 medium favourable low
Habitat
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather storms and floods happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Grassland   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Unknown  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Liuwa Plain National Park 366,000 is identical to site 366,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   3%
Grassland   96%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
water management -

References Clarke and Loe (1974), Osborne (1978).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Liuwa Plain National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/12/2014

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