|Altitude||1000 - 2200 m|
This EBA includes the semi-arid plains to the south and east of Lake Victoria in north-central Tanzania and south-west Kenya. Its boundaries, defined by the combined distributions of the restricted-range species, correspond to an isolated region of
The restricted-range species include the monotypic endemic genus Histurgops. They all occur in Acacia or Acacia-Commiphora woodland and bushed or wooded grassland, habitats which are patchily distributed within the EBA. Only two of the restricted-range species, Trachyphonus usambiro and Prionops poliolophus, are recorded from Kenya, where they both range northwards up the Rift Valley to the area around Lake Naivasha, P. poliolophus also as far as Lake Nakuru (Lewis and Pomeroy 1989). P. poliolophus is rare and localized in Tanzania (N. E. Baker in litt. 1993), but T. usambiro is widespread in the Tanzanian section of the EBA, as are Francolinus rufopictus, Agapornis fischeri and Histurgops ruficauda (see Schmidl 1982, Stronach 1990, Moyer 1995). Apalis karamojae is restricted (in this EBA) to stands of whistling thorn Acacia drepanolobium in the southern Serengeti National Park, Maswa Game Reserve and the Wembere steppe (D. C. Moyer in litt. 1994).
|Species||IUCN Red List category|
|Grey-breasted Francolin (Pternistis rufopictus)||LC|
|Usambiro Barbet (Trachyphonus usambiro)||LC|
|Fischer's Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri)||NT|
|Grey-crested Helmetshrike (Prionops poliolophus)||NT|
|Karamoja Apalis (Apalis karamojae)||VU|
|Rufous-tailed Weaver (Histurgops ruficauda)||LC|
|Country||IBA Name||IBA Book Code|
|Kenya||Hell's Gate National Park||KE065|
|Kenya||Lake Nakuru National Park||KE049|
|Tanzania||Maswa Game Reserve||TZ015|
|Tanzania||Ngorongoro Conservation Area||TZ013|
|Tanzania||Serengeti National Park||TZ009|
|Tanzania||Tarangire National Park||TZ010|
A large part of the EBA is included in protected areas, but outside the reserves the habitats of the restricted-range species are coming under increasing pressure from pastoralists and agriculturalists. In the past, some habitat was lost through the tsetse fly control programme, but now human population pressure is leading to general degradation because of overstocking and the cultivation of marginal areas. The band of woodland and wooded grassland which extends south from Maswa Game Reserve to the Wembere steppe is of particular concern, as it probably supports populations of all of the restricted-range species but is under considerable pressure. There is currently no protection for the whole of Lake Eyasi basin, including the Wembere steppe and Lake Kitangiri (N. E. Baker in litt. 1993). The main threat to the EBA in Kenya is the spread of agriculture in and around the Rift Valley, where areas of grassland and woodland outside protected areas are vanishing, such that the populations of the restricted-range species are likely to become confined to the area protected in the Serengeti and Masai Mara reserves (L. A. Bennun in litt. 1993). Prionops poliolophus and Apalis karamojae are threatened because their particularly restricted ranges largely lie outside protected areas. Agapornis fischeri populations have been reduced locally by capture for the wild-bird trade, but it remains a numerous species within protected areas (Moyer 1995, N. Stronach in litt. 1993).
A large part of this EBA is protected within the contiguous Serengeti National Park, Maswa Game Reserve, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Masai Mara Game Reserve. However, much of this area (such as the extensive grasslands in the north of the Serengeti National Park) contains no suitable habitat for the restricted-range species. The Masai Mara Game Reserve itself will not effectively conserve the restricted-range species in Kenya, but its buffer zones, which are presently managed in a similar way to the main reserve, should contain both Trachyphonus usambiro and Prionops poliolophus (L. A. Bennun in litt. 1996). At least three other protected areas contain suitable habitat for the restricted-range birds (see IUCN 1992b).
BirdLife International (2023) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Serengeti plains. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/eba/factsheet/99 on 03/10/2023.