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Location Zambia, Central
Central coordinates 27o 43.00' East  14o 22.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 330,000 ha
Altitude 1,100 m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)

Site description Despite its proximity to the main railway line, this enormous wetland remains one of Zambia’s least-explored areas. It comprises swamp, open water and seasonally inundated flood-plain and access is difficult. It is part of the Kafue drainage system and, whilst it usually drains into that river, there are occasions when the reverse occurs. There is much small-scale fishing and presumably much human habitation, but further exploration is required.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The site is very poorly known, but is likely to be very rich in waterbirds. It almost certainly holds important numbers of Grus carunculatus (a breeding resident) and is presumably an important breeding area for many other species. Circus macrourus occurs; Gallinago media and Egretta vinaceigula have not been recorded, but are likely to occur. There have been two sightings of Balaeniceps rex, probably wandering individuals, and there is a record of the very localized Charadrius forbesi. Seven species occur that are restricted to the Zambezian biome (see Table 3).

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals known to occur include Tragelaphus spekii (LR/nt).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus winter  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed low

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - shifting agriculture happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) very rapid to severe deterioration low

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   24%
Shrubland   19%
Forest   55%

Land use

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

References Benson and Irwin (1967).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lukanga Swamp. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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