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Tarangire National Park is named after the Tarangire river which flows northwards through the park before discharging into Lake Burungi, which lies just outside the park boundary to the north-west. The rolling hills and swamps are typical of the Masai steppe country to the east and south. The northern sector of the park is dominated by Acacia tortilis woodland and scattered baobab Adansonia trees. Other habitat zones include Acacia–Commiphora and Combretum–Dalbergia woodland. The extensive swamps are seasonal and well-vegetated with little open water. Mature stands of Balanites aegyptiaca often dominate swamp edge and riverine vegetation. There are few large hills within the park; Lolkisale (2,132 m) lies just to the east with the Sangaiwe Hills and Mount Kwaraha (2,415 m) beyond the western border. Average rainfall is only 600 mm/year.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. There is no species list for the park; the total is likely to exceed 450 species. Globally threatened species include Falco naumanni, which occurs in flocks of hundreds in April, following the start of the rains when invertebrate food-supplies are abundant and the park provides secure roost-sites. A single record of Apalis karamojae from 1998 may represent a range extension for this species. Parus fringillinus breeds at low densities in the south-east of the park, the western edge of the range of its central plateau population. Three Tanzanian endemics, Agapornis personatus, Cosmopsarus unicolor and Histurgops ruficauda, have substantial populations within the park and a fourth, Agapornis fischeri, is a regular visitor. Of special interest are the relatively high numbers of Anthus caffer, a local and rare species in East Africa. Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis is reasonably common, with up to 16 adult birds having been seen on the edge of Silale swamp. Although the park is only 30 km from the wall of the Eastern Rift, it is nevertheless outside the volcanic belt and forms the western limit for many birds typical of the Somali–Masai biome.
Non-bird biodiversity: An estimated 3,000 elephant Loxodonta africana (EN) are present in the Tarangire ecosystem. Panthera leo (VU) are resident while Lycaon pictus (EN) are frequently observed in the south-east and Acinonyx jubatus (VU) are frequent visitors. The population of the rhino Diceros bicornis (CR) was wiped out by poachers by the mid-1980s.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tarangire National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/04/2021.