|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|
Ornithological information 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.
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.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|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|
|Northern Pintail Anas acuta||winter||1987||16,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus||winter||-||common [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Arabian Bustard Ardeotis arabs||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Near Threatened|
|African Collared-dove Streptopelia roseogrisea||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Piapiac Ptilostomus afer||resident||2000||-||-||Least Concern|
|Red-pate Cisticola Cisticola ruficeps||resident||2000||-||-||Least Concern|
|Purple Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureus||resident||2000||-||-||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-bellied Starling Lamprotornis pulcher||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black Scrub-robin Cercotrichas podobe||resident||2000||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser superciliosus||resident||2000||-||-||Least Concern|
|Bush Petronia Petronia dentata||resident||2000||-||-||Least Concern|
|Black-rumped Waxbill Estrilda troglodytes||resident||2000||-||-||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||1987||-||unknown||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Artificial wetlands||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
Management considerations Lake Maga is the site of an important fishery which supports 1,000 fishermen and their families. Production has declined recently, a ‘natural’ phenomenon, coming two decades after the creation of this artificial lake. The lake holds 30–50 Hippotamus amphibius which cause regular conflicts with fishermen. Hunting is a more direct threat to birds, with hundreds of Dendrocygna viduata and Plectropterus gambensis killed annually in the rice-fields. Hunting for sport, although officially regulated, is still largely unmanaged.
References Scholte and Dowsett (2000), Scholte et al. (1999), Scott and Rose (1996), van Wetten and Spierenburg (1998).
Contribute Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Maga. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/05/2013
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife