TL13
Tasitolu


Year of compilation: 2007

Site description
A small catchment of near Dili with a variety of habitats including beach, grassland, mangrove, permanent saline lakes, and Eucalyptus alba savanna woodland along an altitudinal gradient. Tropical dry forest is developing in topographically protected gullies and on headwater ridges but is not extensive. Tasitolu literally means ‘three seas’ in the Timor-Leste Tetum language, and refers to the three permanent shallow saline lakes that comprise the Tasitolu wetlands. The area is of national cultural, social and historical significance being an important symbol of the East Timorese struggle for independence. Pope John Paul II held mass at the site in 1989 and it was the location for the restoration of independence celebrations on 20 May 2002.

Key biodiversity
Fifteen restricted-range species have been recorded in this IBA (Trainor et al. 2004).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
This IBA is very close to the capital city of Dili and under threat from intensive human use. The known threats to the site include timber collection (of mangrove and Eucalyptus), rubbish dumping, extraction of rock and sand, annual horse racing events and learner drivers using the seasonally dry saltpans. It is currently being used as a base by the international military Peace Keeping Forces.

Protected areas
This IBA has not previously been identified as a site of significant conservation value. However, it was announced by the Timor-Leste government as a Peace Park on Restoration of Independence Day (20 May 2002) because of its historical and social importance.

Habitat and land use
A small catchment of near Dili with a variety of habitats including beach, grassland, mangrove, permanent saline lakes, and Eucalyptus alba savanna woodland along an altitudinal gradient. Tropical dry forest is developing in topographically protected gullies and on headwater ridges but is not extensive. Tasitolu literally means ‘three seas’ in the Timor-Leste Tetum language, and refers to the three permanent shallow saline lakes that comprise the Tasitolu wetlands. The area is of national cultural, social and historical significance being an important symbol of the East Timorese struggle for independence. Pope John Paul II held mass at the site in 1989 and it was the location for the restoration of independence celebrations on 20 May 2002.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tasitolu. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/09/2022.