Lake Opeta Wetland System

Lake Opeta Wetland System

Bosque Público/Area Natural


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Lake Opeta Wetland System. 15/09/06; Nakapiripirit, Sironko, Katakwi, Kumi; 68,912 ha; 01°42'N 034°14'E.
The wetland lies south of the Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve and serves as a dry-season refuge for both wildlife from the park and domestic cattle of the surrounding Karamajong and Pokot people.[ Lake Opeta is primarily fed by rainfall on Mount Elgon and drains into Lake Kyoga via Lake Bisina. It is surrounded by an extensive swamp and floodplain.[3]
This is 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.


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