|Location||Gambia, Western Division|
|Central coordinates||16o 45.00' West 13o 4.00' North|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box for key species. The area is relatively poorly known but there have been occasional records of Larus audouinii during the 1990s, with a maximum count of 38 birds. The area may prove to be an important roost site for other species of gulls, terns and waders. In addition to Larus cirrocephalus, the Kartung quarry lakes may also be important periodically for other waterbirds; numbers of Tachybaptus ruficollis, Porzana pusilla and Porphyrio alleni have been recorded.
Site description The Allahein river forms the border between The Gambia and southern Senegal. The river is half a kilometre wide where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. At its mouth is a sandbar, while extending to the north-north-west are 3 km of sandy beaches behind which lie shallow seasonal lagoons. The coastline then turns abruptly northwards to face west. One kilometre north of this bend is the border town of Kartung. There is a large area between the town and the coast that is quarried—the Kartung sand quarries, the country’s main source of sand for building development. The quarrying has created several freshwater lakes. This part of the mine is being decommissioned.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus||winter||1998||1,900 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Caspian Tern Sterna caspia||winter||1998||6,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity The turtle Chelonia mydas (EN) is occasionally found dead on the beaches but is not known to breed.
Management considerations Artisanal fisheries operate from Kartung and Allahein. The coast between Kartung and Tanji (GM005), some 40 km to the north, although currently relatively undisturbed, is zoned for tourist development for its entire length. The Allahein river is on the DPWM’s list of Sites of High Ecological Value. The decommissioned parts of Kartung sand mines are the site of a landscape restoration plan, the first in The Gambia. Although the plan is mainly to stabilize the sandbanks and provide orchards and fish-farms for the villages, there is the opportunity to incorporate nature conservation and this has been proposed by DPWM.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Allahein to Kartung coast. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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