|Central coordinates||31o 34.00' East 13o 2.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i, A4ii|
|Altitude||500 - 1,550m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box and Table 3 for key species. Mopane birds are very well represented, with Agapornis lilianae, Lamprotornis mevesii and Plocepasser mahali being particularly numerous. Large concentrations of waterbirds may occur, especially at drying oxbows, and several species breed in significant numbers, the best known example being the long-established colony of Mycteria ibis. Vast colonies of Merops nubicoides breed in sandbanks, along with Apus horus, Merops bullockoides and Hirundo paludicola. Ixobrychus sturmii, Crecopsis egregia and Porphyrio alleni are locally not uncommon in the rains, and other species present in significant numbers include Balearica regulorum, Rynchops flavirostris and Scotopelia peli. Vidua codringtoni has been recorded on a number of occasions. Neotis denhami is an irregular non-breeding wanderer. Recently, a single Aquila clanga has twice been tracked to the park by satellite telemetry, representing a huge leap in the species’s known migratory range. Of other species of global conservation concern, Ardeola idae may be a regular vagrant, Falco naumanni is a rare passage migrant, Grus carunculatus is a vagrant, while Gallinago media winters in small numbers.
Site description The second-largest and probably the most famous of Zambia’s National Parks. It encompasses a section of the mid-Luangwa Valley, mainly on the west bank of the river and stretching to the lip of the Muchinga Escarpment. Most of the area lies between 500–900 m, although the park rises to at least 1,250 m in the west. Along the river is an alluvial belt of Acacia, in particular A. albida. Mopane dominates the adjacent terrain and in the north this belt becomes wider, covering almost half the park’s width. Beyond this there are large areas of scrub and munga, and finally miombo. Scattered grasslands are more common in the north, the largest being the Chifungwe plain, and strips of riparian forest and thicket occur throughout. The active, meandering river has created many oxbow lakes and sandbanks and sandbars are a prominent feature when the water-level is low. In relation to the size of the park, the area utilized by the tourism industry is very small and in the rains, even this becomes largely inaccessible. The many lodges and camps are mostly on the east bank, both outside and within the park.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis||breeding||-||300 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|African Spoonbill Platalea alba||winter||-||150 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|African Spoonbill Platalea alba||breeding||-||-||-||Least Concern|
|Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Great Snipe Gallinago media||winter||-||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris||resident||-||-||-||Near Threatened|
|African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris||winter||-||100 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Lilian's Lovebird Agapornis lilianae||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Near Threatened|
|Racket-tailed Roller Coracias spatulatus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Southern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicoides||breeding||-||10,000 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Black-backed Barbet Lybius minor||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Miombo Wren-warbler Camaroptera undosa||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Meves's Glossy-starling Lamprotornis mevesii||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-headed Black-chat Myrmecocichla arnoti||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Boehm's Flycatcher Muscicapa boehmi||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia talatala||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Shelley's Sunbird Nectarinia shelleyi||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-backed Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser rufoscapulatus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Twinspot Indigobird Vidua codringtoni||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah Vidua obtusa||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|South Luangwa||National Park||905,000||is identical to site||0|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||20%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity A wide variety of mammals occur, including Lycaon pictus (EN), Loxodonta africana (EN), the endemic subspecies Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti and Connochaetes taurinus cooksoni, and possibly still a tiny number of Diceros bicornis (CR).
Management considerations The area is relatively well protected and although some illegal hunting takes place it seems unlikely that the birds are affected. Most of the park is uninhabited and inaccessible, but human encroachment perhaps needs to be assessed and monitored.
References Astle (1989), Clarke and Loe (1974), Feely (1964), Scott (1991).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South Luangwa National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/05/2013
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