Gulls at Cel Island, Somalia
Daallo Mt. lookout, Somalia
Sacaada Diin, Somalia
Arabian Bustard Ardeotis arabs
Heuglin's Bustard Neotis heuglinii
Gacan Libaax, Somalia
Maydh Island, Somalia
Lesser Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon hamertoni
Bancade Plain; Sanaag Region, Somalia
Somali Short-toed Lark Calandrella somalica
Wajaalle Plains, Somalia
Three endemic bird areas fall entirely within Somalia: the Central Somali coast; the North Somali mountains; the north-west Somalia secondary area. In addition, parts of the East African coastal forests, the Jubba and Shabeelle valleys and the Northern Ethiopia secondary area lie within Somalia.
The whole country lies within the Somali-Masai biome and 99 of the 129 species restricted to this biome are found in Somalia. The East African coast biome just extends into the southern parts of Somalia and 13 of its 38 species have been recorded. There are a number of significant concentrations of waterbirds including breeding populations of terns.
24 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have been identified covering 47,689 km2 or some 7.4% of the land area. These sites contain almost all the restricted range species and good selections of waterbirds. However, many of the sites have not been surveyed in recent years and there is a need to carry out survey work when the political situation allows this.
The following sites are in the north of Somalia: Jasiira Ceebaad and Jasiira Sacaada Diin for breeding Crab-plover Dromas ardeola and White-eyed Gull Larus leucophthalmus; Jasiira Maydh where Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis has been recorded; Daalo which has Little Brown Bustard Eupodotis humilis, Somali Pigeon Columba oliviae, Somali Thrush Turdus (olivaceus) ludoviciae, Warsangli Linnet Carduelis johannis and Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak Rhynchostruthus socotranus; Saylac for Hemprich’s Hornbill Tockus hemprichii, Gillett’s Lark Mirafra gilletti, Brown-tailed Rock-Chat Cercomela scotocerca, Ruppell’s Weaver Ploceus galbula and Black-cheeked Waxbill Estrilda charmosyna; Raas Xaafuun-Raas Gumbax for Somali Pigeon Columba oliviae and breeding Saunders’s Tern Sterna saundersi; Gacan Libaax is the only known locality in Somalia for Sombre Rock-Chat Cercomela dubia and Gambaga Flycatcher Muscicapa gambagae; Boorama plains is the only known locality for Archer’s Lark Heteromirafra archeri and one of only a few for Bristle-crowned Starling Onychognathus salvadorii; Lascaanod-Taleex-Ceel Kebet for Red-and-yellow Barbet Trachyphonus erythrocephalus, Lesser Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon hamertoni, Somali Short-toed Lark Calandrella somalica, Short-tailed Lark Pseudalaemon fremantlii and Somali Chestnut-winged Starling Onychognathus blythii.
The following sites are further south on or between the Indian Ocean and Ethiopia and hold key species of the Somali-Masai biome: Ceel Hammure for Collared Lark Mirafra colllaris, Lesser Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon hamertoni and Northern Grosbeak-Canary Serinus donaldsoni which have been recorded from few other sites; Hobyo for Obbia Lark Spizocorys obbiensis; Xarardheere-Awale Rugno for Pygmy Batis Batis perkeo, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit Anthoscopus musculus and Speke’s Weaver Ploceus spekei; Buulobarde is the only known site for Bulo Burti Bush-Shrike Laniarius liberatus; War Harqaan-isha Dolondole for Bristle-crowned Starling Onychognathus salvadorii; Jowhar–Warshiikh is the only known site for Ash’s Lark Mirafra ashi while Red-winged Bush Lark M. hypermetra, Pink-breasted Lark M. poecilosterna and Ashy Cisticola Cisticola cinereolus are known from only a few other sites; Balcad Nature Reserve where the only known individual Bulo Burti Bush-Shrike Laniarius liberatus was released as well as Bare-eyed Thrush Turdus tephronotus, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu Uraeginthus cyanocephalus and Juba Weaver Ploceus dichrocephalus known from few other locations; Arbowerow for Red-winged Bush Lark Mirafra hypermetra, Pangani Longclaw Macronyx aurantiigula and Bare-eyed Thrush Turdus tephronotus known from few other locations as well as waterbirds on the banks of the Shabeelle; Boja swamps with Fire-fronted Bishop Euplectes diadematus recorded from few other locations; Laag Dheere with Shelley’s Starling Lamprotornis shelleyi, Speckle-fronted Weaver Sporopipes frontalis and Grey-headed Silverbill Odontospiza griseicapilla; Laag Badaana for Steel-blue Whydah Vidua hypocherina as well as coastal species.
The following sites hold concentrations of waterbirds as well as other species; Xawaadley reservoir with a count of 1,000 Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides; Jasiira lagoon and Muqdisho islets with terns, Palearctic migrant waders and sea caves for important breeding colonies of Forbes-Watson’s Swift Apus berliozi; Ceel Munye-Ceel Torre for migratory waders including Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus; Aangole-Farbiito is within one of Somalia’s important wetland areas although quantitative data are not available; Far Waamo with counts of some 25,000 waterbirds in 1984 including Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus, Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis, Common Greenshank T. nebularia and Wood Sandpiper T.glareola as well as being the only locality in Somalia for Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser donaldsoni, Grey-headed Social Weaver Pseudonigritta arnaudi and Chestnut Sparrow Passer eminibey.
For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.