|Central coordinates||14o 31.00' East 22o 48.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 20m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This coastal IBA is situated in central Namibia, on the border of the Namib desert, between the harbour town of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. It is essentially a 30 km by 0.7 km stretch of beach comprising mainly sand, with isolated rocky outcrops forming less than 5% of its length. Two small resorts occur in an otherwise uninhabited section of coast, namely Langstrand and Dolphin Strand. Rainfall here is highly variable, averaging about 15 mm per year, but precipitation from coastal fog occurs during one out of every 3 days on average. Line fishing is common along the northern sections, while swimmers and surfers are concentrated around the two resorts. The area is the focus of an intense oceanic upwelling system that begins in Lüderitz, where nutrients are brought to the surface, and algal and zooplankton blooms form as the water is swept north by the Benguela Current. Between Walvis Bay and Henties Bay inshore winds push large quantities of nutrients inland, supporting an abundance of invertebrates on the sandy and rocky shores. Invertebrate densities on both shore-types are higher than any other beach in southern Africa. Furthermore, the effect of the Pelican Point sand-spit is to refract waves around and into the bay, concentrating the nutrients still further on these shores. Little vegetation occurs, although washed-up kelp is seen on some sections and there provides a rich microhabitat for kelp flies and associated shorebirds. Associated with this beach is the only bulge along an otherwise straight beach, known as Caution Reef (or Patrysburg). This is an area of sandflats immediately behind a shingle beach, rising to a raised plateau overlooking the shore about 600 m inland. The road between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay acts as a boundary to the area c.1 km inland.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres||winter||-||5,211 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus||winter||-||1,688 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Damara Tern Sterna balaenarum||breeding||-||120 breeding pairs||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Damara Tern Sterna balaenarum||winter||-||250 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Walvisbaai||Private Reserve||72||protected area contained by site||72|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity In recent years the rare cetacean Caperea marginata (five records) has occurred or been stranded on these beaches, while Lagenorhynchos obscurus (DD), Tursiops truncatus (DD) and Cephalorhynchus heavisidii (DD) are frequent visitors.
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References Braby (1995), Braby et al. (in press), Summers et al. (1987), Simmons et al. (1998), Wearne (1997), Whitelaw et al. (1978).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: 30-Kilometre Beach: Walvis - Swakopmund. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/12/2013
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