Musambwa islands

Country/territory: Uganda

IBA criteria met: A4i, A4iii (2001)
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Area: 8 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2012 favourable high medium
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Site description (2001 baseline)
These three rocky islets are about 3 km offshore in Sango Bay. The largest covers about 5 ha, and the next about 3 ha (these are locally known as Ennene (large) and Entono (small) respectively), whilst the smallest is just a rocky outcrop jutting out of the lake. The two larger ones are sparsely vegetated with shrubs and short, weather-beaten trees, especially of Ficus species. The shoreline has no fringing swamp or sandy beaches. The larger island is used periodically by fishermen catching Nile perch Lates niloticus (Mputa) and Rastrineobola argentea (Mukene). A group of fishermen have settled on the island.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. As yet, there is no species list for the islands, whose significance is as a breeding and roosting site. The full importance of the islands, especially for Larus cirrocephalus was not appreciated until recently. There are no other breeding colonies of Egretta garzetta known in Uganda, which makes this an important site. Phalacrocorax carbo breeds on both islands in Ficus trees, and 2,000 non-breeding birds were recorded in February and October 1995. Large numbers of Phalacrocorax africanus also roost on the islands, with an estimate of 3,000–5,000 in July 1997.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Musambwa islands. Downloaded from on 01/03/2024.