Lake Victoria: Bumbire Islands

Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
The Bumbire islands are located 15 km off the western shore of Lake Victoria. They extend 28 km from north to south, beginning some 20 km south of Bukoba. The main island, Bumbire, lies between the smaller islands of Nyabura to the north and Iroba to the south; there are also numerous tiny islets. Bumbire is permanently inhabited, mainly by fishermen. Bumbire rises 120 m above the lake and still contains areas of large trees.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. The only data come from a partial survey in January 1995; figures given are therefore minima. Further counts may show that Phalacrocorax africanus and Egretta garzetta exceed the 1% thresholds. Bumbire has enough large trees to support a breeding colony of Phalacrocorax carbo on its northern tip. Another major colony lies on the western edge of Iroba island. In addition, two species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome have been recorded (see Table 3).

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Recognition of these islands as internationally important will alert regional and district officials to birds which are often perceived as common and of little significance except as predators of fish. However, a healthy population of fish-eating birds is indicative of substantial fish stocks, of vital importance to local communities.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Victoria: Bumbire Islands. Downloaded from on 26/09/2020.