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Sabaki River Mouth (3094008)


Management status LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
Conservation status UNPROTECTED
IBA information
Ramsar information
Heritage information
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Sabaki River Mouth is where the Athi-Galana-Sabaki river system empties into the Indian Ocean some 5 km north of Malindi. Due to the combined action of ocean currents and freshwater flow from the highlands bringing high levels of silt, a diverse array of habitats have been formed. These include open sandy beach, sandbanks, mudflats, salt marsh, vegetated and bare sand dunes, seasonal and permanent fresh water pools, mangroves, grassland and coastal scrub. Since the mid-1970s a high level of silt deposition has taken place that has extended the river mouth into the ocean and created the wide, open mud and sand flats which are the key attraction for large numbers of waders. Until c. 2000 there was only some degraded patches of mangrove forest slightly upstream. With the siltation, however, conditions became ideal for mangroves to become established and an area of over 12 ha of mangrove forest has grown on the northern banks of the river mouth. Seasonal wetlands form during seasons of good rain on the extension of low sand dunes between the beach and the old, high sand dunes and provide breeding habitat for some birds such as Black-winged Stilts. The sandflats and beach are regularly used as a roost for often large numbers of gulls and terns which forage out at sea and come to the relative safety of the river mouth to rest.
A series of high (up to c. 25 m) wind-blown sand dunes extend about five km north and three km south of the river. These dunes form an important aquifer and as a result among the dunes are pools and wells of fresh water filtered by the sand and separ
"Sabaki" is the name of the final few kilometres of the river that starts in the Ngong Hills west of Nairobi as the Athi River and is known as the Galana River through Ukambani and Tsavo East National Park. At its mouth it is c. 150 m wide broadening

SppCommon nameTaxonomic nameMinAvgMaxIBASubregional
269Avocet, PiedRecurvirostra avosetta129.04110  
66Bittern, DwarfIxobrychus sturmii11.001   
50Cormorant, ReedPhalacrocorax africanus11.502   
203Crake, BlackAmaurornis flavirostris11.001
267Curlew, EurasianNumenius arquata03.7716   
101Duck, FulvousDendrocygna bicolor134.80110   
91Duck, Knob-billedSarkidiornis melanotos19.2347   
100Duck, White-facedDendrocygna viduata197.59462   
61Egret, CattleBubulcus ibis19.2954   
2188Egret, Dimorphic (Mascarene Reef-)Egretta dimorpha18.2531
58Egret, GreatEgretta alba12.675   
59Egret, LittleEgretta garzetta11.252   
60Egret, Yellow-billedEgretta intermedia13.506   
149Fish-eagle, AfricanHaliaeetus vocifer11.284
86Flamingo, GreaterPhoenicopterus ruber197.161074 625760
87Flamingo, LesserPhoenicopterus minor0650.103200  600
266Godwit, Bar-tailedLimosa lapponica12.837   
10004Goose, DomesticAnser anser22.002
89Goose, EgyptianAlopochen aegyptiacus113.0056   
263Greenshank, CommonTringa nebularia222.6783   
933Gull, Common Black-headedLarus ridibundus12.676
2062Gull, Great Black-headedLarus ichthyaetus25.008
288Gull, Grey-headedLarus cirrocephalus13.507   
2042Gull, Heuglin'sLarus heuglini114.57132
4136Gull, Lesser Black-backedLarus fuscus116.4069 
2058Gull, Sooty (Hemprich's)Larus hemprichii1257.142930
10010Gull, UnidentifiedN/A N/A1161.00872
64Heron, BlackEgretta ardesiaca11.001   
55Heron, Black-headedArdea melanocephala13.6524   
56Heron, GoliathArdea goliath11.502   
54Heron, GreyArdea cinerea17.6746   
62Heron, SquaccoArdeola ralloides13.409   
10011Heron, UnidentifiedN/A N/A11.383
81Ibis, African SacredThreskiornis aethiopicus115.1678   
84Ibis, HadedaBostrychia hagedash12.8010   
402Kingfisher, Brown-hoodedHalcyon albiventris11.001
397Kingfisher, MalachiteAlcedo cristata05.2091
400Kingfisher, MangroveHalcyon senegaloides11.001
394Kingfisher, PiedCeryle rudis04.2462
1031Lapwing, Spur-wingedVanellus spinosus124.48200
167Marsh-harrier, AfricanCircus ranivorus11.001
166Marsh-harrier, WesternCircus aeruginosus01.332
303Noddy, BrownAnous stolidus1111.0011 
74Openbill, AfricanAnastomus lamelligerus122.93100   
172Osprey, OspreyPandion haliaetus11.082
894Oystercatcher, EurasianHaematopus ostralegus11.001
42Pelican, Great WhitePelecanus onocrotalus114.1778   
41Pelican, Pink-backedPelecanus rufescens121.04137   
271Phalarope, RedPhalaropus fulicaria11.001
240Plover, CaspianCharadrius asiaticus12.507   
233Plover, Common RingedCharadrius hiaticula0247.742028 15001900
273Plover, CrabDromas ardeola136.05191 
239Plover, Greater SandCharadrius leschenaultii249.01224   
241Plover, GreyPluvialis squatarola125.13112   
237Plover, Kittlitz'sCharadrius pecuarius16.8559   
234Plover, Lesser SandCharadrius mongolus1188.35807250125 
1039Plover, Pacific GoldenPluvialis fulva11.001
238Plover, Three-bandedCharadrius tricollaris114.6742   
235Plover, White-frontedCharadrius marginatus125.81143 125 
281Pratincole, CollaredGlareola pratincola111.78150   
898Pratincole, MadagascarGlareola ocularis1162.92887
256Ruff, RuffPhilomachus pugnax1260.882039  
255Sanderling, SanderlingCalidris alba029.00389   
981Sandpiper, Broad-billedLimicola falcinellus121.72104
258Sandpiper, CommonActitis hypoleucos118.5489  
251Sandpiper, CurlewCalidris ferruginea11309.975690 3750
259Sandpiper, GreenTringa ochropus13.6014
262Sandpiper, MarshTringa stagnatilis122.16173   
257Sandpiper, TerekXenus cinereus121.97122 
264Sandpiper, WoodTringa glareola16.2445   
10012Seabird, UnidentifiedN/A N/A181.33549
306Skimmer, AfricanRynchops flavirostris01.142   
250Snipe, AfricanGallinago nigripennis11.001   
249Snipe, GreatGallinago media55.005   
85Spoonbill, AfricanPlatalea alba118.2361   
270Stilt, Black-wingedHimantopus himantopus16.0935  
253Stint, LittleCalidris minuta1512.104667   
77Stork, Woolly-neckedCiconia episcopus12.359   
76Stork, Yellow-billedMycteria ibis114.7183   
1274Teal, CommonAnas crecca12.674
97Teal, Red-billedAnas erythrorhyncha177.21503   
290Tern, CaspianSterna caspia125.87100 6820
291Tern, CommonSterna hirundo1290.305300 4000 
902Tern, Gull-billedSterna nilotica133.85200 
297Tern, Lesser CrestedSterna bengalensis0390.8114280250125440
293Tern, RoseateSterna dougallii1680.4344654002008
2070Tern, Saunders'sSterna saundersi1764.0625130
295Tern, SootySterna fuscata37101.00165
298Tern, SwiftSterna bergii191.431520500250200
10009Tern, UnidentifiedN/A N/A1754.003000
938Tern, White-cheekedSterna repressa241.0080 
304Tern, White-wingedChlidonias leucopterus113.8660   
274Thick-knee, WaterBurhinus vermiculatus12.957   
232Turnstone, RuddyArenaria interpres13.5819   
10008Wader, UnidentifiedN/A N/A0842.036580
268Whimbrel, CommonNumenius phaeopus16.5322   
FITZ logo Ramsar Wetlands International

Monday 23 September 2019 10:27
FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
Department of Biological Sciences - University of Cape Town

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