Bird Watching Sites

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Bird Sanctuaries

The Gambia’s rural developpement and poverty reduction strategies emphasize the need to reverse stagnate agro-sylvo-pastoral productivity while safeguarding its rich natural resource base and unique biodiversity assets. However, efforts toward these goals are being seriously hampered by the degradation of land and seascape resources, as well as a decline in the ability for land and seascapes to provide the environmental services to support productive socio-economic systems. Across many areas of The Gambia, the degradation of land and seascapes is occurring in advanced stages. The root causes of land degradation include inappropriate land use, increased competition over land, unsustainable agricultural practices, overgrazing, and deforestation. While efforts have been made at different levels to address some of these threats to the sustainable use and management of land and seasc ape resources, success remains patchy. 

The  Governemnt  of the Gambia target to  protect 15%  of the  total land  area coverage  of the Gambia . The West African Bird Study Association (WABSA)  contributes to the target througth establishment of community bird sanctuaries.

Brufut community Bird sanctuary

The Brufut Community bird sanctuary  is a locally managed conservation area in partnership with the West African Bird Study Association (WABSA). It is located on the eastern periphery of the village, some way inland, over some rough back routes. The small nature reserve has a bird-watching hide , Eco refreshment center and pond. One of the best places in the woods is an open area near the bridge.

  The resident and inter-African migrant bird species you might see among the gallery forest and open savannah woodland are the Pin-Tailed Whydahs, Black-crowned Tchagra, African Scops Owls, Black Kite, Klaas's Cuckoo, Emerald Cuckoo, Senegal Batis, Osprey, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Verreaux's Eagle Owl, Fork-Tailed Drongo, Four-banded Sandgrouse, long tailed night jar and the Yellow-throated Leaflove.

Kartong Bird santuary​

Kartong community forest and wetland reserve comprise of wetland, beach and dunes, freshwater, reed beds, wetland savannah, scrub agricultural land Urban area, mangroves, tidal estuary. Because of this variety of ecosystems, the area attracts both resident and migratory bird species. The site occupies a sacred graveyard, of the late Tamidayo, approx 12m long. According to scholars he is one of the generals of Prophet Muhammed PBH and visited by many Gambians, Senegalese and other nationalities for prayers and visits. 

The site also boarded with FOLONKO a world heritage site under UNESCO, is renowned for its sacred, occasionally visited by barren women. 

Kutir Bird Sanctuary

The Kutirr community forest and wildlife reserve is a community lead conservation initiative that is co-managed by 9 communities suited at the Lower Niumi District. The designation of the site as a community-protected area was initiated by WABSA through the PRCM funded project. 

The area despite there being no thorough inventory, as a habitat of both wetland gallery forest and rice-growing, is a place with an abundant diversity of birds, Crocodiles, and other wildlife species. 

The West African Bird Study Association is looking for support through project proposal development to ensure the area is protected and acquire legal status 

Some of the bird species are golden oriel, Fine spotted woodpecker, Abyssinian roller, drongo, etc   

Marakissa Community Bird Sanctuary

The Marakissa community Bird Sanctuary is located in the southern parts of the Gambia few minute’s drive from the Southern Senegal border. The area is rich in bird and other wildlife biodiversity, and has been one of WABSA's embryonic areas to protect, but is yet to acquire legal status protection. The area comprises wetland, gallery forest agricultural land area and is gradually been invaded by the development of housing estates developers. 

One of the main attractions in the area is the Marakissa River lodges which offer birding accommodation, where birders record one of their highest records of birds during their one to three weeks stay in The Gambia and the species they may get on their list from Marakissa bird sanctuary includes Dwarf Bittern, Little Bittern White-crested tiger bittern, Spotted Honeyguide Violet turaco Giant kingfisher, Senegal white eye, white-breasted cuckoo shrike, etc. 

Piran Community Bird Sanctuary

The Pirang Bonto forest is a community forest reserve that was established by the department of forestry and the local communities. 

The area is protected and has legal status. The West African Bird Study Association signed M.O.U.WITH THE Department of forestry as well as the local communities of Pirang to become partners in developing and managing. Recently WABSA has established a site support Group SSG comprising the locals from both Pirang and Bonto through the Birdlife International Capacity Development Fund (CDF).  

The area is one of the thickest gallery forests along the coast and habours lots of endangered species like hooded vultures wood owl, white-spotted fluff tail the Red colobus monkey, etc. The area has a wetland which is also another attraction for water birds like flamingos, Black crown, etc

Sefoe Community Bird Sanctuary

Sefoe community bird sanctuaries which is located in the southern part of the Gambia 30 minutes’ drive from Banjul. The area is rich in bird and other wildlife biodiversity, Currently WABSA is engaging the sefoe community to establish officially as community protect area