Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and Batoka Gorge
26o 4.00' East 17o 56.00' South
A1, A3, A4i
600 - 900m
Year of IBA assessment
Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)
Site description The site comprises the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and the adjacent Batoka Gorge which extends downstream as far as the confluence of the Zambezi with the Kalomo river. At 6,600 ha, the park is Zambia’s smallest, but it is the most popular as it flanks a stretch of the Zambezi river just south of Livingstone that includes the Victoria Falls. As well as riparian habitats such as sandbars and fringing forest, there is woodland (mainly mopane) and the immense basalt gorge below the falls (much of which is over 100 m deep).
Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. The site is most important for the species occurring in and around the gorge. Falco fasciinucha has been recorded with some regularity and is known to nest here—Hartley (1993) estimated that 8–10 pairs occurred in the gorge along 60 km of its length—but it is perhaps not as common as some local tour operators might suggest, possibly due to confusion with other species such as Falco peregrinus. Other breeding species of interest include Ciconia nigra, Aquila verreauxii and Apus barbatus and, along the river above the falls, Gorsachius leuconotus, Podica senegalensis and Glareola nuchalis.
Non-bird biodiversity: A wide variety of mammals occur, including Loxodonta africana (EN).