|Location||Ghana, Greater Accra|
|Central coordinates||0o 20.00' West 5o 31.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box for key species. Sixty species of waterbird have been recorded at this site, with estimated maximum numbers of c.35,000 birds. The site is particularly important for roosting terns and is the second most important site for the rare Sterna dougallii. In addition, the site supports large numbers of Egretta garzetta, Charadrius hiaticula, Calidris ferruginea and C. minuta. Three species, Glareola pratincola, Himantopus himantopus and Sterna albifrons breed regularly at the site. Its proximity to Accra and easy access around the site as result of the saltpan construction, make the site attractive for birdwatching.
Site description The Densu delta wetland lies c.11 km west of Accra in the river valley between the Aplaku-Takuse and Weija McCarthy hills. It comprises an open lagoon, saltpans, freshwater marsh and scrub and sand-dunes. The greater part of the land is owned by the Panbros Salt Company. The wetland is fed mainly by the Densu river, which is dammed upstream (Weija dam), to supply water to the city of Accra. The dam has had profound effects on the lagoon and general hydrology of the wetland, since freshwater inflow into the wetland is controlled by the management of Weija Water Works. The water depth in the wetland varies, and can be over 2 m in some parts, during the rainy season. There is no direct outlet channel to the sea, but the lagoon often overflows into the sea after heavy rains. In other years, the Salt Company has to create an opening through the dunes to let water out of the pans. There is little vegetation on the dunes and in the saltpans; some coconut-palms Cocos nucifera fringe the dunes, while the banks of some of the pans are colonized by Sesuvium portulacastrum. Scattered stands of mangrove are found in some areas around the lagoon, while the freshwater parts of the wetland support stands of mainly Imperata, Typha and Cyperus. Scrub vegetation grows on other parts of the wetland.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Western Reef-egret Egretta gularis||winter||-||540 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus||winter||-||1,170 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Royal Tern Sterna maxima||winter||-||6,650 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis||winter||-||6,570 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii||winter||-||500 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Tern Sterna hirundo||winter||-||9,240 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Little Tern Sterna albifrons||winter||-||3,100 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Black Tern Chlidonias niger||winter||-||12,700 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||-||-||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Densu delta||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||4,620||protected area contained by site||4,620|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity Three species of marine turtle Lepidochelys olivacea, Chelonia mydas and Dermochelys coriacea (all EN)have been recorded nesting on parts of the beach.
Management considerations The site was designated a Ramsar Site in 1992. The main activities within the wetland are the large-scale commercial salt operation and lagoon fisheries, mainly for tilapia and lagoon crabs. There are human settlements all around the wetland and, indeed, the main threat is increasing urbanization, with uncontrolled and unauthorized housing development resulting in habitat destruction.
References Ntiamoa-Baidu and Gordon (1991).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Densu Delta Ramsar Site. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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