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Location Guinea-Bissau, Bolama,Quinara
Central coordinates 15o 30.00' West  11o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 17,197 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description 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.

Key Biodiversity 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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Charadrius alexandrinus winter  1,000 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola winter  7,200 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula winter  3,900 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  6,100 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres winter  2,200 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  10,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea winter  17,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2001 low not assessed not assessed

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bolama - Bijagós UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 101,230 protected area overlaps with site 17,197  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -

References Zwarts (1988).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ilha de Bolama - Rio Grande de Buba. Downloaded from on 22/06/2015

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