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Location Zambia, Southern
Central coordinates 27o 2.00' East  16o 37.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 9,700 ha
Altitude 1,180 - 1,280m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)



Site description Nkanga comprises three private farms on the Southern Province Plateau, just north-east of Choma. Much of the area is fenced game farm, and the remainder includes various crops (maize, coffee, tobacco) and livestock (beef and dairy cattle, sheep). Tourists are welcome and there is a campsite as well as catered accommodation. The habitat is a mosaic of miombo, munga and thicket, interspersed with dambos and several open grassy plains. There are a number of dams, some permanent hot springs and scattered kopjes. The rocky Nkanga river and its tributaries are flanked by dense riparian thicket.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. Species of global conservation concern include the Zambian endemic Lybius chaplini, which is common in suitable habitat. The area holds a good number of Zambezian biome endemics, six Francolinus species occur and some of the more localized species include Anas sparsa, Stephanoaetus coronatus and Pachycoccyx audeberti. Colossal roosts of Hirundo rustica are regular in the reedbeds below the hot springs during the early rains. Recently, Buphagus erythrorhynchus has been recorded regularly and there are hopes that it will recolonize the area naturally, having been wiped out by poisonous cattle-dips in the past. Among other species of global conservation concern, Crex crex and Gallinago media are wintering visitors, while Circus macrourus (winters in some years) and Falco naumanni are both regular on passage, and Egretta vinaceigula, Phoenicopterus minor, Grus carunculatus and Glareola nordmanni have all been recorded as vagrants.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Miombo Pied Barbet Tricholaema frontata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Zambian Barbet Lybius chaplini resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Corncrake Crex crex winter  present  A1  Least Concern 
Great Snipe Gallinago media winter  present  A1  Near Threatened 
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 
Miombo Tit Parus griseiventris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Wren-warbler Camaroptera undosa 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 
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-headed Black-chat Myrmecocichla arnoti resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Rock-thrush Monticola angolensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia talatala resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Miombo Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia manoensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Shelley's Sunbird Nectarinia shelleyi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Twinspot Indigobird Vidua codringtoni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah Vidua obtusa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fuelleborn's Longclaw Macronyx fuellebornii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-eared Seedeater Serinus mennelli resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

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

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

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Nkanga river Conservation Area 0 is identical to site 9,700  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   6%
Shrubland   50%
Forest   43%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
hunting -
tourism/recreation -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nkanga River Conservation Area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014

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