The reserve lies along the western boundary of the Serengeti (TZ009) and abuts the south-western corner of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (TZ013). The northern half of the reserve drains westwards into Lake Victoria, whilst the remaining land drains southward into Lake Eyasi (TZ023). The only areas of open grassland, so characteristic of the Serengeti plains, are in the north, at Ndoho and in the extreme south-east, adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. There are fewer (and smaller) hills than in the adjacent Serengeti.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. There is no species list for this site and it remains poorly known, despite being on the edge of the Serengeti. Species composition is likely to be similar to that in the western part of the Serengeti. Apalis karamojae is probably resident in Acacia drepanolobium woodland and Agapornis fischeri is locally common. The presence of Prionops poliolophus is suggested by recent, unconfirmed records. Sixteen species of the Somali–Masai biome have been recorded (see Table 3).
Non-bird biodiversity: Most, if not all, of the larger mammals known from the Serengeti occur in this reserve.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Maswa Game Reserve was created in 1962, to act as a buffer zone for the Serengeti National Park (TZ009) and to allow tourist hunting of wildlife within the Serengeti ecosystem. It is reported that agricultural encroachment has twice led to the area under protection being reduced and agricultural pressures continue to grow along the western boundary. Francolinus rufopictus are shot to provide food for camp staff and hunters. Its habitat outside the reserve has been seriously degraded and the species should be formally protected within the site.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Maswa Game Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 15/01/2021.