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Location Gambia, North Bank Division
Central coordinates 16o 30.00' West  13o 34.00' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 4,940 ha
Altitude 0 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description This coastal park is located in the north-west corner of the country and extends from just outside the town of Barra to the northern border with Senegal, where it is contiguous with the Delta du Saloum National Park (IBA SN013). Ginak Island, included in the park, and separated from the mainland by the Niji Bolon channel, has some 15 km of narrow, sandy beaches facing the Atlantic, backed by sand-dunes. The island also has a small coastal lagoon, seasonally wet saltmarshes, narrow Rhizophora mangrove bordering the bolon, mudflats and rice-fields. The remainder of the island is degraded savanna woodland or arable. The dominant crop is Cannabis sativa. The mainland section of the park has more extensive, tall Rhizophora mangrove forest either side of the larger Massarinko Bolon and further small areas of saltmarsh and mudflats. There are two small villages in the park, both on Ginak Island.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Of greatest importance are the tern and gull roosts which form on the Atlantic coast in the extreme north and south of the park, at Buniada Point and the mouth of Niji Bolon. Numbers are variable and may have recently declined with the shrinking of the sandbar at Buniada Point. The Atlantic coast is also notable for nationally high numbers of Sterna dougallii and, probably, several breeding pairs of the locally declining Charadrius marginatus. The tidal creeks, saltmarshes and rice-fields have generally low numbers of waterbirds, but Limosa limosa occasionally occurs in thousands. Large numbers of herons, egrets and terns regularly fly through the site into roosts in the Delta du Saloum National Park. Passerines are well studied, due to the activities of the Gambia Ringing Project, whose main interests are in the movements and site fidelity of wintering Palearctic passerines.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals of global conservation concern include Procolobus badius temminckii (EN) while Trichechus senegalensis (VU) may still occur. The turtle Chelonia mydas (EN) has been recorded and there is some evidence of breeding. Offshore, there is a small population of the dolphin Sousa teuszii (DD) which moves between Niumi and the Delta du Saloum.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei winter  180 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia winter  500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus winter  2,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis winter  2,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Niumi National Park 0 is identical to site 4,940  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   48%
Shrubland   19%
Forest   32%

Land use

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

References DPWM (1997, 2000).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Niumi National Park. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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