Important Bird Areas in Botswana as designated by BirdLife International
The BirdLife International Important Bird Areas Programme in Africa aims to identify, document and work towards the conservation and sustainable management of globally important areas for bird conservation, and is part of a global initiative, which began in Europe in the 1980s.
Twelve Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have been designated in Botswana which cover over 25% of the land surface of the country. IBA's include all of the National Parks, a transfrontier park and the larger Game Reserves e.g. large reserves such as Chobe, Kgalakgadi, and Central Kalahari including Kutse and small areas such as Mannyelanong Hill. Part of the Okavango Delta is a Game Reserve (Moremi Game Reserve) with other parts being Wildlife Management Areas.
The Nata Pan has been declared a sanctuary, and is managed by the local community. Other sites without a formal designation or protection include Bokaa Dam, Phakalane sewage lagoons, Lake Ngami, the south-east Botswana grasslands and the Tswapong Hills.
In Botswana, the IBAs are well distributed throughout the country. Over half of them (seven sites) are wetlands, either very large wetlands and adjacent areas (Okavango Delta, Lake Ngami, Makgadikgadi Pans and the Chobe/Linyanti river system), or small artificial wetlands (Bokaa Dam). Two sites are designated as IBAs because of their colonies of the globally threatened Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres) and these include Mannyelanong Hill and Tswapong Hills.
Whereas a further two sites are designated for their large non-breeding populations of the Palearctic migrants including Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni), Red-Footed Falcon (F. vespertinus), Amur Falcon (F. amurensis) and Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). IBA's in areas of Kalahari-Highveld biome have associated restricted species, and include the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Kgalakgadi Transfrontier Park. The southeast Botswana site, which comprises hills, savanna, grasslands, pans and farmland, is included for its populations of Short-Clawed Lark (Certhilauda chuana).