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Location Zambia, Eastern
Central coordinates 33o 34.32' East  10o 35.76' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 27,000 ha
Altitude 1,300 - 2,225m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)



Site description This park lies along the Malawi border in the far north-east of the country. It adjoins the much larger Malawi an park of the same name (site MW002) and is best approached from that side. Together with the Mafinga and Makutu mountains, it forms the eastern highlands, which constitute the only truly montane area in Zambia. The undulating terrain is dominated by montane grassland, but there are scattered patches of montane forest, usually in depressions or along streams. The largest of these are Chowo (90 ha) and Manyanjere (75 ha). Along the western side of the park runs a precipitous escarpment which, in places, supports miombo. At higher levels, this woodland becomes somewhat stunted.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  1998  uncommon  A1  Least Concern 
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus winter  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Striped Flufftail Sarothrura affinis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Corncrake Crex crex winter  present  A1  Least Concern 
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus resident  1998  common  A1  Vulnerable 
Dusky Turtle-dove Streptopelia lugens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Montane Nightjar Caprimulgus poliocephalus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scarce Swift Schoutedenapus myoptilus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Trogon Apaloderma vittatum resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Moustached Green-tinkerbird Pogoniulus leucomystax resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fuelleborn's Boubou Laniarius fuelleborni resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Crested-flycatcher Elminia albonotata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea breeding  1998  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Black-lored Cisticola Cisticola nigriloris resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Churring Cisticola Cisticola njombe resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Least Concern 
Chapin's Apalis Apalis chapini resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Mountain Greenbul Andropadus nigriceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-streaked Greenbul Phyllastrephus flavostriatus resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Bracken Warbler Bradypterus cinnamomeus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mountain Flycatcher-warbler Chloropeta similis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Warbler Sylvia lugens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Hill Babbler Pseudoalcippe abyssinica resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Waller's Starling Onychognathus walleri resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Starling Onychognathus tenuirostris resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Orange Ground-thrush Zoothera gurneyi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-chested Alethe Alethe fuelleborni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sharpe's Akalat Sheppardia sharpei resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Olive-flanked Robin-chat Cossypha anomala resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher Dioptrornis fischeri resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-bellied Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia fuelleborni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bronze Sunbird Nectarinia kilimensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-tufted Sunbird Nectarinia johnstoni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bertrand's Weaver Ploceus bertrandi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Buff-shouldered Widowbird Euplectes psammocromius resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Red-faced Crimson-wing Cryptospiza reichenovii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Swee Waxbill Estrilda melanotis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-faced Citril Serinus hypostictus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Serinus whytii resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Not Recognised 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Nyika (Zambia) National Park 8,000 is identical to site 8,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   100%

Land use

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

Other biodiversity A wide variety of mammals are known, including Rhynchocyon cirnei (VU), Otomys typus (LR/nt), O. denti (LR/nt) and Rhabdomys pumilio (DD). There are many butterflies unknown elsewhere in the country, including Axiocerces nyika, Iolaus helenae, Lepidochrysops handmani, L. chalceus and L. nyika, all of which are (on present evidence) endemic to the Nyika. Other species known from nowhere else in Zambia include Neptis nina, Cymothoe cottrelli, Charaxes nyikensis, Uranothauma williamsi and indeed much of the flora and fauna is of very limited distribution elsewhere in Zambia.

References Clarke and Loe (1974), Dowsett-Lemaire (1983, 1985, 1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nyika National Park (Zambia). Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/07/2014

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