|Location||Sierra Leone, Southern Province|
|Central coordinates||12o 55.00' West 8o 12.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This site is located on the southern side of the Western Area Peninsula, about 60 km south-east of Freetown. It is a shallow coastal wetland, with a 9,100 ha expanse of intertidal mudflats, that extends along 60 km of foreshore and is backed primarily by mangrove swamps covering 24,505 ha (14% of the total area of mangrove swamp in Sierra Leone), interlaced with a network of creeks. The bay’s topography and location mean that its waters are sheltered. It is therefore an important spawning ground for fish. This has led to the development of fishing communities and the establishment of commercial fisheries along its shores.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Forty-six species have been recorded in the bay. The globally near-threatened Sterna balaenarum was recorded from Sierra Leone for the first time in 1994 from this site, when 40 were seen. This constituted a significant westward extension of its global range; whether the species occurs here regularly is unknown. The African Waterfowl Census in January 1995 covered 30% of the bay and recorded 13,168 waterbirds. Other areas of the bay were not accessible at that time because of poor security, but it is thought that waterbird numbers regularly exceed 20,000 in the bay as a whole.
Non-bird biodiversity: Among mammals, there are records of Trichechus senegalensis (VU) from the bay, and the duiker Cephalophus maxwelli (LR/nt) inhabits the coastal forest.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|African Spoonbill Platalea alba||winter||-||150 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great White Egret Ardea alba||winter||-||686 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola||winter||-||3,500 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula||winter||-||6,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Redshank Tringa totanus||winter||-||14,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia||winter||-||2,500 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Red Knot Calidris canutus||winter||-||5,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea||winter||-||16,600 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus||winter||-||1,100 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||-||20,000-49,999 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|2013||very high||not assessed||low|
|Agricultural expansion and intensification||annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|Agricultural expansion and intensification||marine and freshwater aquaculture - subsistence/artisinal aquaculture||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Energy production and mining||mining and quarrying||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||very high|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||work and other activities||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Transportation and service corridors||roads and railroads||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Some of site covered (10-49%)||No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun||Some limited conservation initiatives are in place||low|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats; Mangroves; Rivers & streams||100%|
|Artificial - terrestrial||6%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
References Schwarz (1992), Taylor and Rose (1994), Thompson (1997b), Tye and Tye (1987).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Yawri Bay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/03/2015
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