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Location Gambia, Western Division
Central coordinates 16o 48.00' West  13o 22.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 612 ha
Altitude 0 - 30m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description The reserve lies on the Atlantic coast, 15 km to the south-west of the main tourist centres of Fajara and Bakau and 1 km from the expanding town of Brufut. The reserve boundary encloses the tidal, saline reaches of the small Tanji river, which is bordered by 2 km2 of low mangrove forest, saltmarsh and mudflats. Longshore drift creates a shifting channel for the river as it reaches the ocean and is blocked by a sand beach parallel to the land. This has also created several small lagoons between the river’s mouth and Cape Point. The point is the landward limit of a lateritic outcrop which reappears 2 km offshore to form the tiny Bijol Islands, which are included in the reserve. The two unstable islands are accumulations of sand trapped by laterite reefs. They were formerly lightly wooded, disappeared in the 1960s and have gradually reformed since then. The main island is now vegetated with the creeping halophytes Ipomoea pes-caprae and Sesuvium portulacastrum. The remainder of the mainland reserve is degraded savanna and stabilized sand-dunes, the latter with wooded grassland dominated by Parinari macrophylla. There are tiny patches of forest.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres winter  1998  523 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii winter  1998  404 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus winter  1998  6,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei winter  1998  200 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia breeding  1997  150 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia winter  1998  2,100 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus breeding  2000  7,360 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus winter  1997  5,100 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis winter  1998  2,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons winter  1998  1,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  2000  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Karinti (Tanjii River) Bird Reserve Nature Reserve 612 protected area contained by site 500  

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
hunting -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

Other biodiversity Mammals of global conservation concern include Procolobus badius temminckii (EN), while Monachus monachus (CR) and the dolphins Sousa teuzsii (DD) and Tursiops truncatus (DD) occur in the surrounding waters. The turtle Chelonia mydas (EN) is regular offshore and breeds on the Bijol Islands.

References Barnett et al. (2001).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tanji River (Karinti) Bird Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/10/2014

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