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Location Tanzania, Zanzibar and Pemba
Central coordinates 39o 56.00' East  6o 54.00' South
IBA criteria A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 3 ha
Altitude 0 - 4m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description This tiny island, barely 300 m long, lies 60 km east of Dar es Salaam and 66 km south-east of Zanzibar. It is known locally as Fungu Kizimkazi and is administered from Zanzibar. It is a weathered fossil coral island covered, to varying depths, with bird guano. There are no bushes, but a creeping succulent grows over much of the island. There is a large sand beach on the western side of the island that changes shape through the seasons. The island is oceanic as it lies off the continental shelf and is surrounded by deep water.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The island is one of the most important on the east African coastline for breeding seabirds. A colony of Sula dactylatra occupies virtually the whole of the central plateau. Sterna fuscata occupy the periphery of the plateau with Anous stolidus usually confined to the rocky southern tip, sometimes nesting on a small cliff. Nine Sterna sumatrana observed in November 1987 are the only records of this species from East African waters.

Non-bird biodiversity: Latham is thought to be of importance for nesting turtles.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Sula dactylatra breeding  1989  1,500 adults only  unknown  A4ii  Not Recognised 
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii breeding  1971  750-1,000 individuals  unknown  A4i  Least Concern 
Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus breeding  1989  25,000-35,000 individuals  unknown  A4i  Least Concern 
Brown Noddy Anous stolidus breeding  1989  10,000 individuals  unknown  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1989  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
unknown -

References Baker and Boswell (1989), Bregnballe et al. (1990), Gerhart and Turner (1978), Gwynne et al. (1970).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Latham Island. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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