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Flamingo in Creek Mud Flats

Mida Creek, Watamu

Local fishermen at dawn Dabaso landing site The mangroves of Mida Creek Canoe trip in Mida Creek

Mida Creek is a tidal inlet that expands across an area of 32 km2. It comprises different types of habitats that are influenced by the tide, for example mud and sand flats, open shallow waters and mangrove forests.

In fact Mida Creek is one of the most productive mangrove ecosystems in the world. For good reason, Mida Creek is a recognized International Bird Area and together with Arabuko-Sokoke Forest forms a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is not only a paradise for national waterfowls, but also migrating birds from Europe and Eurasia find a place to rest during their journey or they choose to stay at Mida Creek to over-winter.

The open areas of the Creek and its mangrove channels are important feeding and breeding grounds for many species of fish species including Jacks, Snappers, Groupers, Rabbit Fish, Parrotfish, Emperors, and Barracuda.

Equally varied in numbers and distribution is the aquatic flora of Mida Creek. 11 seagrass and 33 seaweed species are found here alongside 9 species of mangrove. Both sea grasses and mangroves serve to trap sediments - benefiting local coral reefs and provide an important habitat for many marine species.

The mud/sand flats are feeding and resting grounds for large populations of around 65 species of aquatic birds; some resident, others local or seasonal distant migrants. Mida Creek is an important passage and wintering area for Palaearctic migrant waders. Counts of over 6,000 waders have been made on Mida Creek including seven species which are regionally threatened. The mangroves around the edge of the creek are also important roosting places.

The populations of Greater and Lesser Sandplover and Crab-plovers at Mida Creek are internationally important. The creek is a significant feeding area for Dimorphic Egrets, Lesser Crested and Roseate Terns. Common migrant shorebirds here include Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Whimbrel, Grey Plover, and Greater and Lesser Sandplover. In the landward area around the creek, a further 115 species have been recorded.

Mida Creek is an important feeding and development area for juvenile green and hawksbill sea turtles. Coral heads and the rich seagrass beds provide food in a sheltered area away from large predators.

Mangrove deforestation however threatens the whole basis of the creek ecosystem. WMA members are working together to prevent this and frequently organise mangrove replanting events.

Importance- As a rich complex of biodiversity resources, Mida Creek is extremely important, both by supporting the adjacent local communities [potentially providing foods, building materials and tourist revenues]and by providing a sediment trap that allows the healthy growth of corals in the surrounding waters.

For more information on tourist activities in the Creek please click on Mida Creek Conservation Group-Members' Page and Canoe Trips and Nature Tours-Visit Watamu

 

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