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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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Western Reef-egret Egretta gularis winter  1,630 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus winter  2,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
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 Sterna caspia winter  500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Royal Tern Sterna maxima 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 -

Other biodiversity Mammals: Trichechus senegalensis (VU) still occurs.

References DPWM (1997, 2000).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tanbi wetland complex. Downloaded from on 22/07/2014

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