A shallow, sheltered bay in an urban/industrial area, with saltmarsh vegetation, extensive mudflats (mainly on the east side) and a large area of mangrove Avicennia (the last remaining area in the country) in the south-west corner of the bay at Sanad. Tidal amplitude is up to 2.5 m and salinity exceeds 4.0%. There are many freshwater springs offshore and onshore, the latter associated with Phragmites reedbeds and date-palm gardens. The bay is an important spawning and nursery area for fish and prawns. It receives irrigation run-off from the date gardens and also fully treated sewage effluent.
The most important site in the country for migrating and wintering coastal waterbirds. See box for key species. Other wintering species include Egretta garzetta (100), Charadrius hiaticula (300), Calidris minuta (1,000), Arenaria interpres (250), Larus ichthyaetus (150) and Larus ridibundus (2,000).
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The entire mangrove area at Ras Sanad is a Wildlife Reserve, and there is a mangrove re-planting programme. Land-claim and dredging are a critical problem: since 1975 most of the original mangrove and other intertidal and shallow subtidal habitats (as well as date-palm gardens) have been lost to housing, roads and other urban and industrial development, especially along the northern shore of the Bay. Irresponsible hunting, excessive disturbance of birds by recreational activities, and oil pollution are all major problems at the site.
Data-sheet compiled by Dr S. A. Mohamed and E. Hirschfeld.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tubli Bay. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 07/02/2023.