Lake Maga, an artificial wetland resulting from the construction of Maga dam in 1979, is located upstream of the Logone flood-plain (CM002), immediately south of the town of Maga and bordering the Logone river to the east, which forms the international frontier with Chad. It is the only open water in the area and is primarily fed by temporary watercourses draining the Mandara mountains and the Maroua plain to the west. The lake’s average depth does not exceed 3 m and fluctuates greatly in size, giving it many characteristics of a flood-plain. The southern shore is fringed by 2–8 km wide Oryza longistaminata grasslands. To the north, and included within the IBA, are about 3,000 ha of rice-fields, which are cultivated biannually and which support a large human population.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. Lake Maga is an important dry-season refuge for waterbirds. Circus macrourus is a common winter visitor. In addition to those listed below, more than 4,000 Phalacrocorax africanus have been recorded. Exceptionally high numbers of Anatidae were recorded in 1987 since when counts have been lower. Despite this, Lake Maga supports almost year-round concentrations of more than 20,000 waterbirds. Six species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome (A04) have also been recorded at this site; see Table 3.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Lake Maga is the site of an important fishery which supports 1,000 fishermen and their families. Production has declined recently, a ‘natural’ phenomenon, coming two decades after the creation of this artificial lake. The lake holds 30–50 Hippotamus amphibius whichcause regular conflicts with fishermen. Hunting is a more direct threat to birds, with hundredsof Dendrocygna viduata and Plectropterus gambensis killed annually inthe rice-fields. Hunting for sport, although officially regulated, is still largely unmanaged.