Balcad Nature Reserve is located on the eastern bank of the Shabeelle river, 35 km north of Muqdisho and immediately south of the town of Balcad. The site consists of one of the few patches of riverine forest remaining on the Shabeelle river and the surrounding scrub savanna. The principal trees of the riverine forest include Acacia elatior, Ficus sycamorus, Garcinia livingstonei, Mimusops fruticosa and Tamarindus indica, while the surrounding scrub consists of more stunted Acacia nilotica with a dense undergrowth of herbs and tall grasses. There is some grassland close to the river and much of the scrub lies on areas of sand-dunes.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Some 200 bird species have been recorded from the site. The only known individual of Laniarius liberatus was released from captivity here. Of the Somali–Masai biome species, Turdus tephronotus, Uraeginthus cyanocephalus and Ploceus dichrocephalus have been recorded nationally from few other IBAs.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Balcad Nature Reserve was established by the Somali Ecological Society in 1985, at which time it covered an area of 42 ha, and was extended to 190 ha in 1987. The reserve included a field-centre. From 1985 to at least 1988 burning, cutting and grazing within the site were controlled and there were some signs of recovery of the forest and an increase in wildlife populations. The current situation is unknown.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Balcad Nature Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 25/09/2022.