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Location Cameroon, Far North Province
Central coordinates 15o 0.00' East  10o 50.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i, A4iii
Area 50,000 ha
Altitude 300 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Cameroon Biodiversity Conservation Society (Affiliate)



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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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   

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Artificial wetlands  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
forestry -
water management -

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 (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Maga. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/12/2014

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