email a friend
printable version
Location Gambia, Western Division
Central coordinates 16o 37.00' West  13o 25.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 4,500 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The wetland lies at the mouth of the Gambia River and separates the capital Banjul from the urban centres of Serekunda, Bakau and their suburbs. Most of the site is low, open Avicennia mangrove scrub and taller Rhizophora mangrove cut by tidal creeks. There are small patches of saline mudflats between the mangrove and the rice-fields, which border much of the site to the south and west. In the north, the main highway linking Banjul to the mainland roughly follows, for some 10 km, the boundary between the mangrove and the shifting sand beaches and tidal lagoons of the Atlantic coast. In the extreme north-west there is a small area of freshwater marsh around Cape Creek. In the east the Bund Road, created to stabilize the land around Banjul, has enclosed several shallow lagoons whose tidal ranges are controlled. The largest expanses of mudflats are on the river immediately south of these lagoons and at the Mandinari flats, 5 km upriver.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The area holds large numbers of non-breeding terns, gulls, herons, egrets and Palearctic waders. Larus audouinii is recorded occasionally in small (less than 10) numbers. The main concentrations of waders are at the Bund Road lagoons and adjacent mudflats. Gulls and terns flock here and on the Atlantic coast, particularly at the mouth of Cape Creek and the lagoons at the Wadner Beach Hotel. There is a roost of several thousand Bubulcus ibis in the mangrove around Cape Creek. In addition to the species listed below, Arenaria interpres, Calidris minuta and C. ferruginea also occur commonly in winter or on passage.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Trichechus senegalensis (VU) still occurs.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Egretta gularis winter  1,630 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Himantopus himantopus winter  2,000 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  6,000 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 
Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus winter  1,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei winter  100 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia winter  500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus winter  1,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   35%
Forest   64%

Land use

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

References DPWM (1997, 2000).

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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Tanbi wetland complex. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife