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Location Gambia, Central River Division
Central coordinates 15o 22.00' West  13o 36.00' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 6,500 ha
Altitude 10 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description Although lying almost opposite site GM009, on the other side of the river, these wetlands are of a quite different character. They extend for approximately 30 km, up to 3 km wide, on the eastern, ‘inner’ side of a large meander of the Gambia River, where they run parallel to it. Their character is uniform throughout. Next to the river is a narrow belt of Rhizophora mangrove, behind which is a 1 km wide strip of Phragmites karka, forming the largest continuous area of reedbed in the country, and beyond this in turn are seasonal freshwater and brackish marshes, which are a mosaic of shallow pools and low-growing Gramineae and Cyperaceae in the rains. The southern boundary of the site is Sofaniyama Bolon, a tributary of the Gambia River which extends for 100 km into southern Senegal. It is fringed with Rhizophora mangrove forest along its length in The Gambia.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The area is little studied. The mouth of Sofaniyama Bolon is known for non-breeding gatherings of Pelecanus rufescens, Mycteria ibis and Balearica pavonina. The latter may also breed locally. Trees in the nearby villages hold breeding colonies for Leptopilos crumeniferus, which feed on the site. Brief visits to a small fraction of the site during the rains in 1996 suggested that the marshes hold large numbers of waders, herons, egrets and storks. Motacilla flava and Riparia riparia have been recorded in large numbers and the reedbeds may be seasonally important roosts.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Great White Egret Ardea alba winter  1996  500-1,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola winter  4,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   63%
Wetlands (inland)   20%
Shrubland   11%
Forest   4%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Dankunku wetlands. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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