|Location||Gambia, Central River Division|
|Central coordinates||15o 22.00' West 13o 36.00' North|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information 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.
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.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Great Egret Casmerodius albus||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 landscapes (terrestrial)||63%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
Management considerations There is rice cultivation in some areas, including irrigated cultivation in cleared areas of Phragmites karka opposite Dankunku, but most of the site is undisturbed, making this, other than mangrove forest, the most extensive semi-natural wetland in the country. The site is on the list of the DPWM’s Sites of High Ecological Value. No conservation measures have been taken. There are few immediate threats to the site, although the expansion of rice cultivation could damage the reedbeds and marshes.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dankunku wetlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2013
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