|Location||Zimbabwe, Matabeleland South Province|
|Central coordinates||29o 34.00' East 20o 4.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4ii|
|Altitude||1,200 - 1,461m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Debshan Ranch (c.10,000 ha) is situated south of Shangani. It is primarily a cattle ranch, with up to 30,000 head, and therefore has vast areas of grassland. In recent years the ranch has also promoted wildlife utilization, namely sport-hunting of antelopes and leopard Panthera pardus. On one of its sections is a large granite inselberg called Wabai Hill (c.100 ha), which grades into a long ‘whaleback’ to the west. The Wabai is a beautiful and rather symmetrical dome, visible from far and wide on the surrounding plain, and has near-vertical slopes on three sides. The soils in the area are sandy, and there are many granite outcrops. Miombo woodland occurs in patches.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Wabai Hill is a daily roost-site for Gyps coprotheres. Up to 225 birds (in March 1983) have been counted on the south-east faces, but the usual number is 100–150. Most are immatures. Wabai is the only known site for this species in Zimbabwe, and is the most northerly site (just) for the species in southern Africa. Sometimes in the rainy season, Grus carunculatus (rarely), Falco naumanni and Circus macrourus use the grasslands. At least 50 species of raptor (including owls) have been sighted on the ranch, which is also a haven for Ardeotis kori. In siNdebele, Wabai means crow, i.e. Corvus albus, but Corvus albicollis actually lives on the hill.
Non-bird biodiversity: The ranch has the largest herd of Damaliscus lunatus (LR/cd) in the country.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres||winter||-||100-225 individuals||-||A1, A4ii||Vulnerable|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Wabai Hill (Debshan ranch)||Sanctuary||0||is identical to site||0|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||6%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
References Dale (1990), Edwards and Swanepoel (1992), Mundy and Steyn (1977), Mundy (1995).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wabai Hill (Debshan Ranch). Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/01/2015
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