Allahein to Kartung coast

Country/territory: Gambia

IBA Criteria met: A4i (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 300 ha

Site description
The Allahein river forms the border between The Gambia and southern Senegal. The river is half a kilometre wide where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. At its mouth is a sandbar, while extending to the north-north-west are 3 km of sandy beaches behind which lie shallow seasonal lagoons. The coastline then turns abruptly northwards to face west. One kilometre north of this bend is the border town of Kartung. There is a large area between the town and the coast that is quarried—the Kartung sand quarries, the country’s main source of sand for building development. The quarrying has created several freshwater lakes. This part of the mine is being decommissioned.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. The area is relatively poorly known but there have been occasional records of Larus audouinii during the 1990s, with a maximum count of 38 birds. The area may prove to be an important roost site for other species of gulls, terns and waders. In addition to Larus cirrocephalus, the Kartung quarry lakes may also be important periodically for other waterbirds; numbers of Tachybaptus ruficollis, Porzana pusilla and Porphyrio alleni have been recorded.

Non-bird biodiversity: The turtle Chelonia mydas (EN) is occasionally found dead on the beaches but is not known to breed.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Allahein to Kartung coast. Downloaded from on 27/01/2023.