Lake Opeta Wetland System


Lake Opeta Wetland System

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    68,912 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    01°42'N 34°13'E
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Lake Opeta Wetland System. 15/09/06; Nakapiripirit, Sironko, Katakwi, Kumi; 68,912 ha; 01°42'N 034°14'E. Important Bird Area. One of the remaining intact and probably most important wetland marshes in Uganda. It is predominantly an extensive swamp of Vossia cuspidata to the east and south graduating into dry Hyparrhenia grassland savannas. The wetland is of great importance for the conservation of birds, and Fox's weaver, Uganda's only endemic bird, has been recorded in the swamp breeding. The site is also important as a refuge for fish species that have gone extinct in the main lakes, including Lakes Victoria and Kyoga. During the dry season the site provides the only refuge for animals from the Pian-Upe wildlife reserve. The area is mainly used by the Karimojong and the Pokot people for grazing their animals in the dry season. It serves as a source of fish protein at both subsistence and commercial level, and cultivation (maize, millet and plantain) is carried out in the catchment. Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve has potential for big game viewing and birdwatching, but because of the insecurity, tourism development has been minimal and the reserve does not generate any revenue. A community-based wetland management plan will be ready by January 2007. Ramsar site no. 1636. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Administrative region: 
Nakapiripirit, Sironko, Katakwi, Kumi districts

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