Central Somali coast

Country/Territory Somalia
Area 15,000 km2
Altitude 0 - 60m
Priority high
Habitat loss possible
Knowledge poor

General characteristics

This EBA extends along the coast of south-east Somalia (from near Mogadishu at about 1°30"N to 7°N), and consists of a narrow strip of large, fixed, vegetated dunes, which are mostly 10–15 km wide and vary between 20 and 60 m in height (WWF/IUCN 1994). The main vegetation type is fixed-dune grassland dominated by perennial grasses and sedges (Barker et al. 1989).

Restricted-range species

The extent of the EBA is defined by the range of Spizocorys obbiensis (see Ash 1981), as the other restricted-range species, Mirafra ashi, is only known from a single locality on the coastal plain to the north of Uarsciek, although it is speculated that it may occur along the coast to the north-east, which is ornithologically very poorly known (Collar and Stuart 1985). Both of these larks appear to be restricted to coastal fixed-dune grassland.

Species IUCN Category
Ash's Lark (Mirafra ashi) EN
Obbia Lark (Spizocorys obbiensis) DD

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
SO010 Hobyo Somalia
SO011 Xarardheere - Awale Rugno Somalia
SO015 Jowhar - Warshiikh Somalia
SO017 Jasiira lagoon and Muqdisho islets Somalia

Threat and conservation

Mirafra ashi is threatened because of its highly restricted range, where the chronic and continuing political crisis in Somalia may result in an as-yet-undocumented loss of habitat. WWF/IUCN (1994) identify the Hobyo (or Obbia) area as a Centre of Plant Diversity, based upon the high level of plant species endemism, and list overgrazing and fuelwood cutting as the main threats to this part of the EBA. Grazing by ungulates and campsite occupation by nomads affect the vegetation of the coastal grassland (Barker et al. 1989).

Some of this EBA is inside the Lag Badana Bush-bush National Park, but this is apparently not functional (I. Friis pers. comm. in WWF/IUCN 1994).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Central Somali coast. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/10/2019.