The site includes Boma National Park and the adjacent Boma hills. The area is located in the south-east of Sudan close to the Ethiopian border, south-east of the town of Pibor Post. It lies between the rivers Kangen to the west and Oboth in the north-east and from the Kurun river and the provincial boundary in the south to the Guom swamps in the north. Two-thirds of the park is flat flood-plain, punctuated by a number of isolated hills, rising to undulating terrain in the east to reach the Boma plateau at c.1,100 m. In the south-east the Boma hills rise above the plateau and are drained eastwards into the Oboth and Akobo rivers and thence, eventually, into the Guom swamps. The western part of the park drains into the Kangen river. The western plains support open grassland of Hyparrhenia, Pennisetum, Sporobolus and Echinochloa spp., while eastern parts are covered with woodland dominated by Combretum and Ficus spp. In patches around the isolated hills are areas of dense thicket dominated variously by Ziziphus spp., Acacia seyal, A. zanzibarica, A. drepanalobium and A. fistula, while there are small areas of evergreen forest on the western slopes of the Boma hills. The site is located a little way south of Gambella National Park in Ethiopia (IBA ET035).
See Box and Table 2 for key species. Balaeniceps rex breeds in the Guom swamps. There are few bird records for the area but, in addition to those listed below, four species characteristic of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome (A04) and four of the Afrotropical Highland biome (A07) have been recorded (see Table 2). The former includes the only Sudan record of Cossypha albicapilla and the latter the only one of C. semirufa.
Non-bird biodiversity: Up to one million Kobus kob leucotis (LR/cd) migrate through the park annually. Other mammals of global conservation concern that occur, or which used to, include Loxodonta africana (EN), Acinonyx jubatus (VU), Damaliscus lunatus (LR/cd), Syncerus caffer (LR/cd), Hippotragus equinus (LR/cd), Giraffa camelopardalis (LR/cd), Redunca redunca (LR/cd), Gazella thomsoni (LR/cd), G. granti (LR/cd), Oryx beisa (LR/cd) and Alcelaphus buselaphus (LR/cd).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Boma National Park (2,280,000 ha) was established in 1977 but has not been gazetted. The Anyuak, Murle and Toposa peoples are the principal inhabitants of the area. The Anyuak and Murle traditionally hunt during the dry season while the Toposa hunt during the rains. Sustainable traditional hunting practices have, however, now been disrupted with the introduction of firearms resulting in increased hunting pressure. A further threat is the presence of large numbers of cattle in the park, creating conflict with game for water and grazing during the dry season and also resulting in overgrazing.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Boma. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 09/05/2021.