Jubba and Shabeelle valleys

Country/Territory Ethiopia; Kenya; Somalia
Area 35,000 km2
Altitude 0 - 800 m
Priority urgent
Habitat loss unquantified
Knowledge poor

General characteristics

The middle reaches of the Shabeelle (or Shebele) river, the entire length of the Jubba and its tributaries and the area around lakes Chamo and Abaya in southern Somalia, south-east Ethiopia and extreme north-east Kenya constitute an EBA. The restricted-range birds are found in a variety of lowland habitats, mainly riverine. There is some geographical overlap between this EBA and the Kenyan and Tanzanian coastal forests (EBA 111) in the lower Jubba valley, but the birds of that EBA occur mainly in forest. There is also some geographical overlap between this EBA and the South Ethiopian highlands (EBA 114), but the birds of the latter occur at relatively high altitudes and are not riverine in distribution.

Restricted-range species

Two of the restricted-range species are widespread within the EBA: Streptopelia reichenowi is usually found in riparian woodland dominated by doum palms Hyphaene thebaica and fan palms on the banks and floodplains of large rivers, tending to avoid the adjacent dry Acacia woodland, but in Ethiopia it also ranges into drier vegetation a few kilometres from rivers (Urban et al. 1986, P. O. Syvertsen in litt. 1993); Ploceus dichrocephalus is found in riverine marshland and grassland, and is the only restricted-range species which occurs around lakes Chamo and Abaya in the west of the EBA. The other two species are known from single localities-Mirafra degodiensis from open scrub near Bogol Manya in south-east Ethiopia (Erard 1975, Ash and Gullick 1990, Webb and Smith 1996), which is a few kilometres from the Genale river (a tributary of the Jubba), and Laniarius liberatus by a single bird trapped in Acacia scrub at Bulo Berti (Buulobarde) in the Shabeelle valley in Somalia (Smith et al. 1991b).

Species IUCN Red List category
White-winged Collared-dove (Streptopelia reichenowi) NT
(Laniarius liberatus) NR
(Mirafra degodiensis) NR
Juba Weaver (Ploceus dichrocephalus) LC

Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
Country IBA Name IBA Book Code
Ethiopia Bogol Manyo - Dolo ET068
Ethiopia Dawa - Wachile ET066
Ethiopia Genale river ET057
Ethiopia Lower Wabi Shebelle river and Warder ET060
Somalia Aangole - Farbiito SO021
Somalia Balcad Nature Reserve SO016
Somalia Buulobarde SO012
Somalia Far Waamo SO023
Somalia Jowhar - Warshiikh SO015

Threat and conservation

Mirafra degodiensis and Laniarius liberatus are threatened because of their highly restricted distributions. Increased grazing pressure is a possible future threat to the habitat of M. degodiensis (Ash and Gullick 1990), and the vegetation in the area where L. liberatus was discovered is rapidly being destroyed by refugees displaced by warfare, while clearance of vegetation for agriculture is also taking place elsewhere in the Shabeelle valley (Smith et al. 1991b). There are no protected areas in this EBA (IUCN 1992b).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Jubba and Shabeelle valleys. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/eba/factsheet/117 on 03/10/2023.