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Location Zambia, Luapula
Central coordinates 28o 38.00' East  9o 42.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 90,000 ha
Altitude 900 m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Zambian Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)

Site description A large area of Cyperus papyrus swamp in the lowest reaches of the Luapula river as it fans out to meet Lake Mweru. Its western boundary is the main river channel, which is also the international border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the east the wetland has a well-defined edge. The tarmac Mansa–Nchelenge road runs a little way above and parallel to the shoreline, which is fairly densely populated. Within the swamp are scattered open lagoons and a network of small channels, kept navigable by fishermen and inhabitants of the larger islands.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. The site has long been known for its isolated population of Chloropeta gracilirostris (of the distinctive race bensoni), but is otherwise little explored. Recent work has revealed that species to be widespread and not uncommon, although easily overlooked. Furthermore, Bradypterus carpalis was discovered in considerable numbers and also found to be widespread. Besides the array of larger waterbirds that may occur, characteristic swamp species include Sarothrura rufa, Centropus cupreicaudus, Merops variegatus, Tchagra minuta, Cisticola pipiens, Bradypterus baboecala, Acrocephalus rufescens, Muscicapa aquatica, Ploceus pelzelni, P. katangae (small range in Zambia) and P. melanocephalus. A second globally threatened species, Falco naumanni, occurs and is perhaps regular on passage.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals at the site include Tragelaphus spekii (LR/nt).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Southern Pochard Netta erythrophthalma non-breeding  1954  1,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chirping Cisticola Cisticola pipiens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Scrub-warbler Bradypterus carpalis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Papyrus Yellow Warbler Chloropeta gracilirostris resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Angola Babbler Turdoides hartlaubii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Katanga Masked-weaver Ploceus katangae resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Firefinch Lagonosticta nitidula resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Biological resource use 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
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity 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%)  Unknown  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   22%
Shrubland   27%
Grassland   30%
Forest   19%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
hunting -

References Dowsett et al. (1999), Leonard and Beel (1996b, 1999).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Luapula Mouth. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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