Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
Arbowerow Nature Reserve, also known as Alifuuto, is situated in central-southern Somalia on the lower reaches of the Shabeelle river, north of the town of Baraawe. The vegetation consists primarily of AcaciaCommiphora bushland and thicket, but the reserve contains significant areas of swamp and riverine habitat on the flood-plain of the Shabeelle, extending to a width of 25 km.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 3 for key species. Of the Somali–Masai biome species that occur, Mirafra hypermetra, Macronyx aurantiigula and Turdus tephronotus have been recorded from few other IBAs in Somalia. Although there have been no counts, it is believed that the numbers of waterbirds, particularly of Palearctic waders during the northern winter, exceed the 20,000 threshold. On the banks of the Shabeelle within the site is a mixed breeding colony of Phalacrocorax africanus, P. carbo, Ardea melanocephala and Casmerodius albus, with c.100 pairs of each.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals which occur, or used to do so, include Loxodonta africana (EN), Oryx beisa (LR/cd), Tragelaphus imberbis (LR/cd), Kobus ellipsiprymnus (LR/cd), Litocranius walleri (LR/cd), Ourebia ourebi (LR/cd) and Damaliscus lunatus (LR/cd).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The site has been proposed as a National Park. Large parts of the surrounding area have been converted to agriculture, a threat which is particularly significant for the remaining riverine vegetation.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Arbowerow. Downloaded from on 08/02/2023.