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Location Ghana, Greater Accra
Central coordinates 0o 3.00' West  5o 37.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 3,900 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Ghana Wildlife Society

Site description The site is situated beside the coastal road linking Accra and Tema, c.3 km west of Tema township. The size of the open lagoon varies from 100–350 ha depending on the season. The lagoon is separated from the sea by a narrow sand-dune, on which the Accra–Tema road is built, and is connected to the sea by a small, non-functional (permanently open) sluice, constructed to prevent flooding of the coastal road. Large portions of the lagoon dry up in the dry season, resulting in hyper-saline conditions. The flood-plain is periodically inundated and the flooded areas are largely devoid of vegetation. There are also areas of freshwater marsh and coastal savanna grassland, the latter composed mainly of Sesuvium portulacastrum with various grass species associations. Land-use in the catchment includes rice, cassava and vegetable cultivation. The lagoon has been heavily overfished.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Seventy species of waterbird have been recorded at the site with estimated maximum numbers of some 30,000 birds. Other common species include Egretta garzetta, E. gularis, Glareola pratincola, Charadrius hiaticula and Sterna hirundo. Breeding waterbird include G. pratincola, Charadrius pecuarius and Sterna albifrons.

Non-bird biodiversity: Three species of marine turtle Lepidochelys olivacea, Chelonia mydas and Dermochelys coriacea (all EN) have been recorded nesting on the beach.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus winter  3,280 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis winter  2,600 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Black Tern Chlidonias niger winter  1,750 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2001 high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - sewage happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sakumo Lagoon Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 1,340 protected area contained by site 1,340  

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

References Ntiamoa-Baidu (1991), Ntiamoa-Baidu and Gordon (1991).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Sakumo Lagoon Ramsar Site and vicinity. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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