Densu Delta Ramsar Site and vicinity

Country/territory: Ghana

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4iii (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 9,350 ha

Ghana Wildlife Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2021 not assessed not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The Densu delta wetland lies c.11 km west of Accra in the river valley between the Aplaku-Takuse and Weija McCarthy hills. It comprises an open lagoon, saltpans, freshwater marsh and scrub and sand-dunes. The greater part of the land is owned by the Panbros Salt Company. The wetland is fed mainly by the Densu river, which is dammed upstream (Weija dam), to supply water to the city of Accra. The dam has had profound effects on the lagoon and general hydrology of the wetland, since freshwater inflow into the wetland is controlled by the management of Weija Water Works. The water depth in the wetland varies, and can be over 2 m in some parts, during the rainy season. There is no direct outlet channel to the sea, but the lagoon often overflows into the sea after heavy rains. In other years, the Salt Company has to create an opening through the dunes to let water out of the pans. There is little vegetation on the dunes and in the saltpans; some coconut-palms Cocos nucifera fringe the dunes, while the banks of some of the pans are colonized by Sesuvium portulacastrum. Scattered stands of mangrove are found in some areas around the lagoon, while the freshwater parts of the wetland support stands of mainly Imperata, Typha and Cyperus. Scrub vegetation grows on other parts of the wetland.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. Sixty species of waterbird have been recorded at this site, with estimated maximum numbers of c.35,000 birds. The site is particularly important for roosting terns and is the second most important site for the rare Sterna dougallii. In addition, the site supports large numbers of Egretta garzetta, Charadrius hiaticula, Calidris ferruginea and C. minuta. Three species, Glareola pratincola, Himantopus himantopus and Sterna albifrons breed regularly at the site. Its proximity to Accra and easy access around the site as result of the saltpan construction, make the site attractive for birdwatching.

Non-bird biodiversity: Three species of marine turtle Lepidochelys olivacea, Chelonia mydas and Dermochelys coriacea (all EN)have been recorded nesting on parts of the beach.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Densu Delta Ramsar Site and vicinity. Downloaded from on 19/08/2022.