UGANDA – Important Bird Areas (IBA’s)
Three endemic bird areas (EBA’s) lie partly within Uganda: the Albertine Rift mountains; the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo lowlands; and the Kenyan mountains as well as three secondary areas: dry woodlands west of Lake Victoria; north Ugandan swamps and north-east Uganda. Uganda has over 30 restricted range species, of which 24 are found only in the Albertine Rift mountains.
Uganda has 30 Important Bird Areas (IBA’s) covering some 7% of the area of the country.
Four are in the south-west of the country: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; Echuya Forest Reserve; Nyamuriro Swamp and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Six are in the west near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo: Rwenzori Mountains National Park; Kibale National Park; Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake George; Kyambura Wildlife Reserve; Semliki National Park and Semliki Reserves.
Eight are in the Lake Victoria Basin in the south-central region of the country: Lake Mburo National Park; Sango Bay area; Nabugabo Wetland; Musambwa Islands;Lutoboka Point (Ssese Islands); Mabamba Bay; Lutembe Bay and Mabira Forest Reserve. Five are in the north-west: Budongo Forest Reserve; Murchison Falls National Park; Ajai Wildlife Reserve; Mount Kei Forest Reserve and Mount Otzi Forest Reserve.
A further seven are in the east towards the Kenyan border: Doho Rice Scheme; Lake Nakuwa; Lake Bisina; Lake Opeta; Mount Elgon National Park; Mount Moroto Forest Reserve and Kidepo Valley National Park.
Most of the above IBA’s are now accessible by birdwatchers with the help of the Uganda Bird Guides’ club members; see visiting section. The most frequently visited areas have site guides’ clubs. Many of the sites are close to Kampala, the capital, and examples include:
Mabamba Bay with an extensive marsh fringed with papyrus and is the nearest known site for Shoebill Balaeniceps rex, Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea and Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri.
The Lutembe bay is popular for its capacity to accommodate millions of migrant White-winged Terns Chlidonias leucopterus.