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Sabaki River Mouth (03094008)


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
256Calidris pugnax1208.902039  
273Dromas ardeola136.05191 
255Calidris alba136.22389   
269Avocet, PiedRecurvirostra avosetta130.12110   
66Bittern, DwarfIxobrychus sturmii11.001   
50Cormorant, ReedMicrocarbo africanus11.602   
203Crake, BlackZapornia flavirostra11.001
267Curlew, EurasianNumenius arquata13.8816   
101Duck, Fulvous WhistlingDendrocygna bicolor134.80110   
91Duck, Knob-billedSarkidiornis melanotos18.7147   
100Duck, White-faced WhistlingDendrocygna viduata197.69462   
149Eagle, African FishHaliaeetus vocifer11.294
2188Egret, DimorphicEgretta dimorpha18.1931
58Egret, GreatArdea alba12.655   
60Egret, IntermediateArdea intermedia13.506   
59Egret, LittleEgretta garzetta12.679   
61Egret, Western CattleBubulcus ibis18.9254   
86Flamingo, Greater Phoenicopterus roseus197.211074 625750
87Flamingo, LesserPhoeniconaias minor1633.633200  600
266Godwit, Bar-tailedLimosa lapponica12.717   
10004Goose, DomesticAnser anser22.002
89Goose, EgyptianAlopochen aegyptiaca114.5056   
88Goose, Spur-wingedPlectropterus gambensis11.001   
263Greenshank, CommonTringa nebularia225.2883   
933Gull, Black-headedChroicocephalus ridibundus14.408
2062Gull, Great Black-backedLarus marinus25.008
288Gull, Grey-headedChroicocephalus cirrocephalus13.507   
2042Gull, Heuglin'sLarus heuglini117.21132
4136Gull, Lesser Black-backedLarus fuscus119.1269 
2058Gull, SootyIchthyaetus hemprichii1274.192930
10010Gull, UnidentifiedN/A N/A1234.581155
167Harrier, African MarshCircus ranivorus11.001
166Harrier, Western MarshCircus aeruginosus22.002
64Heron, BlackEgretta ardesiaca11.001   
55Heron, Black-headedArdea melanocephala14.5848   
56Heron, GoliathArdea goliath11.502   
54Heron, GreyArdea cinerea17.6046   
62Heron, SquaccoArdeola ralloides14.339   
63Heron, StriatedButorides striata11.001   
10011Heron, UnidentifiedN/A N/A11.383
81Ibis, African SacredThreskiornis aethiopicus114.8978   
84Ibis, Hadada Bostrychia hagedash13.5710   
402Kingfisher, Brown-hoodedHalcyon albiventris11.001
397Kingfisher, MalachiteCorythornis cristatus15.1291
400Kingfisher, MangroveHalcyon senegaloides11.001
394Kingfisher, PiedCeryle rudis14.3862
1031Lapwing, Spur-wingedVanellus spinosus133.61200
303Noddy, BrownAnous stolidus1111.0011 
74Openbill, AfricanAnastomus lamelligerus122.93100   
172Osprey, WesternPandion haliaetus11.082
894Oystercatcher, EurasianHaematopus ostralegus11.001
42Pelican, Great WhitePelecanus onocrotalus117.6778   
41Pelican, Pink-backedPelecanus rufescens121.77137   
271Phalarope, RedPhalaropus fulicarius11.001
272Phalarope, Red-neckedPhalaropus lobatus11.001
240Plover, CaspianCharadrius asiaticus13.147   
233Plover, Common RingedCharadrius hiaticula1270.882028 15001900
239Plover, Greater SandCharadrius leschenaultii249.78224   
241Plover, GreyPluvialis squatarola127.43112   
237Plover, Kittlitz'sCharadrius pecuarius18.0759   
234Plover, Lesser SandCharadrius mongolus1196.13807250125 
1039Plover, Pacific GoldenPluvialis fulva11.001
238Plover, Three-bandedCharadrius tricollaris19.2042   
235Plover, White-frontedCharadrius marginatus128.10143 125 
281Pratincole, CollaredGlareola pratincola111.78150   
898Pratincole, Madagascan Glareola ocularis1162.92887
981Sandpiper, Broad-billedCalidris falcinellus122.14104
258Sandpiper, CommonActitis hypoleucos118.7089  
251Sandpiper, CurlewCalidris ferruginea11406.465690 3750
259Sandpiper, GreenTringa ochropus13.1714
262Sandpiper, MarshTringa stagnatilis123.48173   
257Sandpiper, TerekXenus cinereus124.36122 
264Sandpiper, WoodTringa glareola16.9546   
10012Seabird, UnidentifiedN/A N/A181.33549
306Skimmer, AfricanRynchops flavirostris11.332   
250Snipe, AfricanGallinago nigripennis11.001   
249Snipe, GreatGallinago media55.005   
85Spoonbill, AfricanPlatalea alba118.8661   
270Stilt, Black-wingedHimantopus himantopus16.0935   
253Stint, LittleCalidris minuta1545.674667   
77Stork, Woolly-neckedCiconia episcopus12.729   
76Stork, Yellow-billedMycteria ibis114.5683   
1274Teal, EurasianAnas crecca12.674
97Teal, Red-billedAnas erythrorhyncha177.21503   
290Tern, CaspianHydroprogne caspia126.36100 6820
291Tern, CommonSterna hirundo1425.945300 40001800
298Tern, Greater CrestedThalasseus bergii186.541520500250200
902Tern, Gull-billedGelochelidon nilotica134.80200 
297Tern, Lesser CrestedThalasseus bengalensis1378.1914280250125440
293Tern, RoseateSterna dougallii1680.4344654002008
2070Tern, Saunders'sSternula saundersi1844.4825130
295Tern, SootyOnychoprion fuscatus37101.00165
10009Tern, UnidentifiedN/A N/A13332.3835000
938Tern, White-cheekedSterna repressa241.0080 
304Tern, White-wingedChlidonias leucopterus116.1760   
274Thick-knee, WaterBurhinus vermiculatus13.047   
232Turnstone, RuddyArenaria interpres13.9019   
10008Wader, UnidentifiedN/A N/A1886.836580
268Whimbrel, Eurasian Numenius phaeopus16.6422   
FITZ logo Ramsar Wetlands International

Wednesday 06 December 2023 07:46
FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
Department of Biological Sciences - University of Cape Town

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