Minyanya Plain

Country/territory: Zambia

IBA criteria met: A1, A3 (2005)
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Area: 50,000 ha

BirdWatch Zambia
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2005 low favourable negligible
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Site description (baseline)
A vast area of rather flat grassy plains that can be broadly divided into wetter and drier types, depending on slight differences in elevation (Aspinwall 1979). There are scattered pockets of scrub and in the depresions small clumps of Syzgium forest.Bordering the plains are stretches of rather open Kalahari woodland and Burkea savanna. There is very little surface water in the dry season and much of the area is sparsely populated. The site is poorly defined at present and further work is required to establish a suitable boundary.

Key biodiversity
A very rich grassland avifauna, comprising species typical of both western Province and Mwinilunga District. Typical of former are Greter Kestrel, Black crow and Long-Tailed Whydah. Characteristic of the latter are Angola Lark and Black-tailed Cisticol.One of the most interesting birds to occur is white-throated Francolin, an essentially West African species that ghas a relict population in this small corner of Zambia and neighbouring Angola. It is a fairly common inhabitantof the drier plains, whereas Red-winged Francolins tend to be found in the wetter areas. Another species with a seemingly disjunct population in this area is Cloud Cisticola. However, recent observationsinSesheke District suggest that the species may be more widespread in Zambia than previous thought. According to loca residents, some areas become heavily inundated during the rains and large concertrations of waterbirds occur, but very few ornithologists have visited at this site.

Non-bird biodiversity: Not known

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Minyanya Plain. Downloaded from on 04/06/2023.