|Location||Cameroon, Far North Province|
|Central coordinates||15o 0.00' East 10o 50.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Lake Maga, an artificial wetland resulting from the construction of Maga dam in 1979, is located upstream of the Logone flood-plain (CM002), immediately south of the town of Maga and bordering the Logone river to the east, which forms the international frontier with Chad. It is the only open water in the area and is primarily fed by temporary watercourses draining the Mandara mountains and the Maroua plain to the west. The lake’s average depth does not exceed 3 m and fluctuates greatly in size, giving it many characteristics of a flood-plain. The southern shore is fringed by 2–8 km wide Oryza longistaminata grasslands. To the north, and included within the IBA, are about 3,000 ha of rice-fields, which are cultivated biannually and which support a large human population.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 3 for key species. Lake Maga is an important dry-season refuge for waterbirds. Circus macrourus is a common winter visitor. In addition to those listed below, more than 4,000 Phalacrocorax africanus have been recorded. Exceptionally high numbers of Anatidae were recorded in 1987 since when counts have been lower. Despite this, Lake Maga supports almost year-round concentrations of more than 20,000 waterbirds. Six species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome (A04) have also been recorded at this site; see Table 3.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Northern Pintail Anas acuta||winter||1987||16,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|White-faced Whistling-duck Dendrocygna viduata||winter||1987||56,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis||winter||1987||22,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus||winter||-||common||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Arabian Bustard Ardeotis arabs||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Near Threatened|
|African Collared-dove Streptopelia roseogrisea||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-bellied Starling Lamprotornis pulcher||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black Scrub-robin Cercotrichas podobe||resident||2000||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||1987||100,000-499,999 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Artificial wetlands||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
References Scholte and Dowsett (2000), Scholte et al. (1999), Scott and Rose (1996), van Wetten and Spierenburg (1998).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Maga. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/05/2015
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