Kilombero Valley Floodplain (Tanzania)
The Kilombero floodplain at 300 m asl is one of the largest wetlands in Africa. Its headwaters originate about 40 km north of Lake Nyasa. The floodplain is about 260 km long and up to 52 km wide at its widest point, covers approximately 6,300 km2, and comprises a myriad of rivers and seasonally flooded marshes and swamps. It has a rich flora and fauna and is of immense importance for biodiversity and contains several endemics including three species of birds and a frog. The floodplain is rich in waterbirds and traditionally in large mammals but an increasing pressure from settlements and agriculture have blocked wildlife migration routes and the fishery is in decline. The floodplain was designated a Ramsar Site in 2002 and fielding an Ramsar Advisory Mission is recommended due to a likely change in ecological status. A large plan to turn the entire southern portion of the Kilombero floodplain into a huge rice scheme is pending.
KeywordsKilombero floodplain Ramsar Tanzania Marsh Africa
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