|Central coordinates||1o 57.00' East 6o 30.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This triangular area, in the south-west of the country, comprises the marshes of the lower Kouffo river, Lake Ahémé, into which the river drains, and the ‘Aho complex’ consisting of marshes beside the Aho river, which carries water from the lake to the sea, and the coastal strip between the towns of Grand-Popo to the west and Ouidah to the east. The south of Lake Ahémé is fringed with Typha australis and the Aho supports mangroves (Rhizophora sp. and Avicennia sp.), maintained by seasonal influxes of brackish water.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The records of Sterna balaenarum come from the Bouche du Roi, part of the Aho delta where there is a channel to the sea. Large flocks of Chlidonias niger forage on the lake. In addition, three species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome (A04) have also been recorded; see Table 2.
Non-bird biodiversity: The fish Trichechus senegalensis (VU) was reported from Lake Ahémé in the mid-1970s.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus||winter||1996||502 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Damara Tern Sternula balaenarum||winter||-||200 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|2001||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Biological resource use||hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target)||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Biological resource use||logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Pollution||agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Basse Vallée du Couffo, Lagune Côtiere, Chenal Aho, Lac Ahémé||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||47,500||protected area contains site||45,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||2%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
References Hagemeijer et al. (2000a,b), Wetlands International (1998).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Ahémé and Aho complex. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/08/2015
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