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Location Kenya, Coast Province
Central coordinates 40o 8.00' East  3o 9.00' South
IBA criteria A4i
Area 20 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2001


Site description This area comprises the sandbanks, mudbanks, dunes and freshwater pools and marshes at the mouth of the Sabaki, Kenya’s second-longest river, c.5 km north of Malindi town, between the Malindi–Mambrui road bridge and the sea. The state and size of the estuary vary seasonally, depending on river flows. Just north and south of the river mouth are grassy dunes that conceal permanent or temporary pools of freshwater.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Madagascar Pratincole Glareola ocularis winter  1978  2,500-10,000 individuals  unknown  A4i  Vulnerable 
Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii winter  1995  410 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis winter  1995  270 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Saunders's Tern Sternula saundersi winter  1995  900 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Sabaki River Estuary Youth Group 2006


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Estuarine waters; Freshwater lakes and pools; Rivers & streams  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
nature conservation and research -

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

References Britton and Britton (1973), Fanshawe (1994), Nasirwa et al. (1995b), Seys et al. (1995).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sabaki River Mouth. Downloaded from on 24/10/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife