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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

NatureKenya



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.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. This site hosts large visiting flocks of Glareola ocularis (regularly up to 2,500, with a maximum of 9,000–10,000 in 1978), and is an important resting, roosting and feeding ground for gulls and terns. Good numbers of Palearctic shorebirds also occur, and Limicola falcinellus, a very uncommon bird in Kenya, winters here in flocks of up to 80. The Near Threatened, restricted-range Anthus melindae is resident in and around the grassy dunes. Regionally threatened species include Casmerodius albus (usually present in small numbers) and Rynchops flavirostris (a regular visitor, mainly August–March).

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
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 

IBA Monitoring

2009 high unfavourable low
Habitat
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Climate change and severe weather drought happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather storms and floods happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Geological events earthquakes/tsunamis likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - run-off happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution excess energy - noise pollution happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution garbage & solid waste happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors flight paths happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Wetlands (inland)   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

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

Habitats

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 -

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

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sabaki River Mouth. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2014

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