Wembere steppe

Country/territory: Tanzania

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4iii (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 160,000 ha

Nature Tanzania

Site description (2001 baseline)
The Wembere river rises in hilly country at 06°S, south-east of Tabora and south-west of Singida. It forms the major river of the Eyasi internal drainage basin and flows north through the Wembere flood-plain before turning north-east at Lake Kitangire (TZ026) and thence into Lake Eyasi (TZ023). The Wembere flood-plain consists of open grassland intersected by drainage lines on the black cotton soil. Stands of Acacia seyal and Acacia drepanolobium grow around the edge of the plain, their exact distribution depending on the extent of waterlogging in the wet season. There are areas of Aeschynomene which die back during the dry season and produce dense stands after heavy rains.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The area is generally poorly known and only 177 species have been recorded from the area. The data here are mainly from fieldwork by Stronach in 1962. Apalis karamoja stronachi was discovered in 1962 at Ngongoro in the Wembere steppe. Its preferred habitat is Acacia drepanolobium woodland. Falco naumanni and Circus macrourus are likely to occur either on passage or may overwinter. Agapornis fischeri occurs in woodland along the fringe of the southern end of the flood-plain, one of only three concentrations of this species, and Histurgops ruficauda is locally frequent in woodland along the fringes of the flood-plain. Cosmopsarus unicolor probably also occurs and a fourth endemic, Francolinus rufopictus, may occur on the western fringes of the site. Interesting species recorded in the 1960s included Gorsachius leuconotus, Ardea goliath, Ardea purpurea, Ixobrychus sturmii, Ixobrychus minutus, Mesophoyx intermedia, Egretta ardesiaca and Plegadis falcinellus.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Wembere steppe. Downloaded from on 05/12/2023.