|Location||Sierra Leone, Western Area|
|Central coordinates||13o 3.00' West 8o 37.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 75m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This site is the drowned estuary of the Rokel or Seli river. It is bounded to the north by a coastal plain indented by creeks, and to the south by the mountainous Western Area peninsula. At the point of entry into the Atlantic Ocean, the estuary widens to about 11 km and abruptly deepens along its southern shore to form a natural harbour (the third-largest in the world). The estuary is lined by 110 ha of mud and sand foreshore, backed by mangrove, and 1,800 ha of intertidal mudflat and muddy sandflats. The predominant mangrove tree species are Rhizophora sp., Avicennia africana, Laguncularia sp. and Conocarpus sp., and these cover a total of 34,234 ha (19% of the total area of mangrove in Sierra Leone).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Great Egret Casmerodius albus||winter||-||500 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola||winter||-||2,300 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula||winter||-||8,600 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus||winter||-||2,100 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Redshank Tringa totanus||winter||-||4,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Sanderling Calidris alba||winter||-||2,900 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea||winter||-||9,500 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||-||20,000-49,999 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Sierra Leone River Estuary||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||295,000||is identical to site||295,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Coastal lagoons; Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats; Mangroves; Rivers & streams; Sand dunes and beaches - riverine||8%|
|Artificial - terrestrial||2%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
References Schwarz (1992), Taylor and Rose (1994), Tye and Tye (1987).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sierra Leone River Estuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/07/2014
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife