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Location Senegal, Ziguinchor
Central coordinates 16o 46.00' West  12o 40.00' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 16 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The site lies at the mouth of the Kalissaye river in south-western Senegal (Casamance region) and consists of two sandy islands lying off the Pointe de Sankoye. It lies about 35 km north-west of Parc National de Basse Casamance (site SN014). The strong currents in the estuary modify the mobile sand substrate, changing the shape and size of the islands continually. The vegetation on the islands is characterized by littoral sand-loving species such as Ipomoea pes-caprae, Sporobolus spicatus and Alternanthera maritima. The site was established as a reserve and sanctuary to protect breeding seabirds and sea-turtles.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Larus audouinii is also recorded from the site, but with no details of numbers or frequency (DPN 1996). There is a record of 10,000 pairs of breeding Sterna caspia, repeated in two IUCN publications, but there are no details of years nor the original source of this count(s) and other estimates put the total breeding population in Senegal at 5,000–6,000 pairs, so this record must be doubtful. Other species recorded include Sterna maxima, S. nilotica, Larus genei, L. cirrocephalus and Pandion haliaetus.

Non-bird biodiversity: Two species of sea-turtle, Chelonia mydas (EN) and Caretta caretta (EN), are recorded breeding and the mammal Trichechus senegalensis (VU) is reported from the site.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Egretta gularis breeding  500 breeding pairs  A4i  Not Recognised 
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus breeding  6,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Reserve ornithologique de Kalissaye Bird Reserve 16 is identical to site 16  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   9%
Forest   89%

Land use

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

References DPN (1996), Hughes and Hughes (1992), IUCN (1987a), Morel and Morel (1990), WCMC (1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Kalissaye Avifaunal Reserve. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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