|Central coordinates||39o 27.00' East 8o 0.00' South|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The Ruaha–Kilombero–Rufiji is the longest and largest river system in Tanzania, draining much of the southern highlands, southern areas of the central plateau and the coastal lowlands. The delta of the Rufiji river is the largest tidal mangrove wetland on the eastern coast of Africa. Mangroves cover an area of 54,500 ha within the delta, and are protected as the Mangrove-Rufiji Forest Reserves. Seven genera of mangrove occur, with Rhizophora, Avicennia and Heritiera dominant. There are several small settlements within the delta.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The avifauna of the delta is poorly known. The mangroves are probably a roosting site and feeding ground for tens of thousands of migrant waterbirds, but fieldwork is required to confirm this. A recent survey has added to earlier counts, which covered only around 10% of the delta area. Both counts revealed good numbers of waders including, in addition to those listed below, 2,366 Calidris minuta and 199 Charadrius asiaticus. Lamprotornis corruscus breeds almost exclusively in mangrove forest; in all six species of the East African Coast biome have been recorded (see Table 3).
Non-bird biodiversity: None are known but the mammal Dugong dugon (VU) may still survive in some of the cleaner waters.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Crab-plover Dromas ardeola||winter||2000||3,402 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus||winter||1988||708 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea||winter||2000||16,043 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Sterna nilotica||winter||2000||3,427 individuals||-||A4i||Not Recognised|
|Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis||winter||2000||1,939 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Saunders's Tern Sternula saundersi||winter||2000||203 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Rufiji||State Forest Reserve||152,890||protected area overlaps with site||0|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Cutting of dead trees for firewood.|
References Barker (1936), Bregnballe et al. (1990), Grant (1938), Haldane (1946), Mkamba (1988).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rufiji Delta. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/08/2015
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