The site occupies a lowland area between several mountain chains. It is surrounded by the Rubeho mountains (TZ064) to the north-west, the Ukaguru mountains (TZ067) to the north, the Uluguru mountains (TZ068) to the north-east, the Udzungwa mountains (TZ066) to the south-west, with the Uvidunda mountains (TZ072) to the west. The main feature of Mikumi National Park is the flood-plain of the Mkata river, with its swamps and pools, which flows north through the park, draining mountains to the west. The main road linking Dar es Salaam and Zambia passes through the park, skirting the flood-plain to the north and a range of low hills to the south. These hills are covered with miombo woodland with extensive areas of riverine forest, characteristic of the coastal lowlands in the valleys. To the south these hills rise to 1,250 m at Mount Malundwe, covered by montane forest, and further south they border the Selous Game Reserve (TZ018).
See Box and Table 3 for key species. No species list exists for the park, but some 393 species are known to occur in the area. Falco naumanni is a regular passage migrant in March and April, but there have been no records of large flocks or wintering birds. There are few records of Crex crex, but the flood-plain offers much suitable habitat for passage birds on their northward journey. Ardeola idae has been rarely recorded from the few permanent ponds. There are a few passage records of Circus macrourus and one of Acrocephalus griseldis from just outside the park; much suitable habitat exists within it. Dendropicos stierlingi is an uncommon bird in the west of the Selous, to the south of Mikumi, and may occur in the south of the park. Although there have been no records of Circaetus fasciolatus it is expected to occur in riverine forest. Two species of the Afrotropical Highlands, three of the Somali–Masai and five of the East African Coast biomes all occur (see Table 3). Mikumi is one of few areas where nominally allopatric members of a superspecies clearly overlap. Hence both Tockus pallidirostris and Tockus nasutus are common and Falco ardosiaceus occurs alongside the commoner Falco dickinsoni. The riverine forest holds Anthreptes neglectus, Ploceus bicolor and Dicrurus ludwigii and probably contains many other species more typical of coastal forest. A population of the uncommon Jynx ruficollis is known from woodland along the park boundary.
Non-bird biodiversity: Populations of Loxodonta africana (EN) and Lycaon pictus (EN) occur, the latter seen more rarely since the mid-1990s. Panthera leo (VU) is resident.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Mikumi National Park was gazetted in 1964, with extensions to the north and south added in 1975. Being reasonably close to major population centres, having a trunk road running through the park and another major road forming part of the western boundary, Mikumi is subject to much illegal entry. Recently, tree poaching has become a problem. Stocks of commercial tree species such as mninga Pterocarpus angolensis are being depleted in adjacent public lands without any attempt to replant or control the harvest. Forest habitats adjacent to the park, some of which are Forest Reserves, should be brought within the National Park.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mikumi National Park. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 19/08/2022.