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Location Gambia, Western Division
Central coordinates 16o 45.00' West  13o 4.00' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 300 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

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.

Key Biodiversity 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.

Non-bird biodiversity: The turtle Chelonia mydas (EN) is occasionally found dead on the beaches but is not known to breed.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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 Hydroprogne caspia winter  1998  6,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Allahein to Kartung coast. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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