The Ilha de Bolama is an island on the central-eastern part of the coast which lies just to the north of the mouth of the Rio Grande de Buba. The Rio Grande de Buba is unusual in Guinea-Bissau in that it mostly merges directly into dry and semi-humid forest rather than mangrove forest. Nonetheless, there are extensive mudflats and mangroves at the river mouth and around Ilha de Bolama. Immediately to the north of Bolama, extending as far as the Ilha das Areias on the southern side of the Canal do Gêba, is a large complex of intertidal flats, mostly of mud in the south, merging gradually to sandflats in the north and with many rocks in the west. The estuary of Rio Grande de Buba contains a mixture of mud- and stoneflats. The site includes 13,000 ha of rocks and mudflats and 17,000 ha of mangroves.Although the Ilha de Bolama is included in the Arquipélago dos Bijagós Biosphere Reserve, the remainder of which forms site GW007, it is here treated separately, since much of the extensive area of mudflats, which are almost contiguous with Bolama to the north, is excluded from the Biosphere Reserve. It seems more appropriate therefore to unite in one site these flats, those around the shoreline of Bolama itself together with the estuary of the Rio Grande de Buba, immediately to the east.
See Box for key species. The total number of wintering waders estimated at Ilha de Bolama and Rio Grande de Buba in 1988 were 46,970 and 30,940 respectively.
Non-bird biodiversity: The mammal Trichechus senegalensis (VU) occurs.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Unlike the Ilha de Bolama, the banks of the estuary of the Rio Grande de Buba are relatively sparsely inhabited and there has been comparatively little clearance for agriculture.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ilha de Bolama - Rio Grande de Buba. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 25/09/2020.