Chitunta Plain

Site description (2001 baseline):

Site location and context
The site lies about 30 km north of Mwinilunga and comprises the lower half of the Chitunta river and a section of the Luakera, at the confluence of the two. Both flow through wide grasslands that are a mixture of dambo, flood-plain and dry plain. There are doubtless many similar sites in the district but this remains the best-known and most studied due to its accessibility. It is bisected by the Mwinilunga–Ikelenge road.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 3 for key species. This is the best known locality for Macronyx grimwoodi which is common in the wet grassland. Ploceus temporalis has a very restricted range in Zambia and breeds colonially in shrubs along the main channel of the Luakera. Jynx ruficollis is perhaps regular in the stunted miombo and has not been regularly recorded anywhere else in Zambia. Other birds include Mirafra angolensis, Hirundo nigrorufa and Cisticola dambo. Among species of global conservation concern, Gallinago media is a regular wintering visitor and Macronyx grimwoodi is a common breeding resident, while Circus macrourus is an irregular passage migrant and Grus carunculatus is an occasional visitor.

Non-bird biodiversity: The butterfly Eicochrysops pinheyi, a Zambian endemic, and the endemic dragonfly

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The site is not protected, but is relatively undisturbed. There is some subsistence fishing and cattle sometimes graze, but there would not appear to be any real threats at present.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Chitunta Plain. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.