1,424 km
245,084 km2

The waters around Tanzania support a range of coastal and seabird species such as the Madagascar Pratincole (VU), Roseate Tern (LC), Sooty Tern (LC), Gull-billed Tern (LC), Saunder's Tern (LC), Crab Plover (LC), Lesser Crested Tern (LC), Greater Crested Tern (LC), Caspian Tern (LC), Common Tern (LC) and Masked Booby (LC). The Rufiji River area is a hotspot for migratory birds from Europe and Asia in the austral summer. An important problem in Tanzania is the lack of integration of environmental policies into economic plans. Regional priorities for the designation of marine IBAs in Tanzania include: Latham Island and the south coast of Zanzibar Island.

Key threats to seabirds in Tanzania include:
o Oil pollution
o Overfishing and bycatch
o Conversion of coastal habitats for uses such as: agriculture, aquaculture, port/harbour expansion and urban development
o Invasive species such as the Indian House Crow

National priorities
o Develop conservation policies for protection of the high seas beyond the EEZ
o Better cooperation with other West Indian Ocean countries on biosecurity to tackle the threat of invasive species
o Develop, alongside neighbouring countries, a set of guidelines for the environmental impact assessment for oil and gas exploration and other developments in the coastal and marine environment
o Better enforce laws and develop procedures to deal with oil pollution from shipping
o Move towards muti-species management and place a stronger focus on ecosystem based approaches to fishing management as well as strengthening the Compliance, Monitoring and Surveillance systems
o Develop research into the economic value of marine ecosystem services in the West Indian Ocean.

Government's support/relevant policy
In Tanzania the coastal zone is defined as the band of dry land and adjacent ocean space (water and submerged land) in which terrestrial processes and land use directly effects oceanic processes and visa versa.Tanzania is a Contracting Party of the Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region which covers the coastal environment and EEZ of Tanzania. As part of the Convention Tanzania agreed to the Protocol Concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern African Region. The Protocol lists species which are protected under the convention and urges Tanzania and other Contracting Parties to Please see policy tab for list of agreements that this country is party to.

Petrels and shearwaters

Gulls and terns
Ducks, geese and swans

IUCN Red List Status

0 (0th)
0% (0th)

The numbers in brackets refer to the country's rank when compared to other countries and territories globally.

o Baker, N.E. & Baker, E.M. 2002. Important Bird Areas in Tanzania. W.C. S. T,. Dar es Salaam. http://tanzaniabirdatlas.com
o Feare, C.J. 1984. Seabird status and conservation in the tropical Indian Ocean. Chap. 26, p. 457-471. In: Croxall, J.P., Evans, P.G.H. and Schreiber, R.W. (eds.) Status and Conservation of the World's Seabirds. ICBP Technical Publication No. 2.
o Fishpool, L.D.C. & Evans, M.I. (eds). 2001. Important Bird Areas in Africa and related islands: priority sites for conservation. Pisces Publications and Birdlife International (Birdlife Conservation Series 11). Newbury and Cambridge. 1144pp.

Tanzania at a glance

Land area

947,300 km2

BirdLife Partner

Nature Tanzania


Total number of birds 1,074
Globally threatened birds 47
Country endemics 33

Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas

Number of IBAs 80
Total IBA area 168,865 km2
IBA area as % of land area 18%

Endemic Bird Areas

Number of EBAs 9

Recommended Citation
BirdLife International (2023) Country profile: Tanzania. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/country/tanzania on 01/10/2023.