KBO is located overlooking a former sand mine. Since mining stopped these areas have filled with water during each rainy season and created one of the best birding sites along the coast of The Gambia. Bird ringing began at Kartong in 1996 with the pioneering work of Mike King and John High. To carry this work forward a team of ringers from the UK established a permanent ringing station at Kartong in 2010. In the last five years 12,000 birds of 160 species have been ringed.

Many of these species have been caught in large numbers allowing us to develop new ageing and sexing criteria for an avifauna that is understudied. We have caught many migrants from the Palearctic and hope to increase our knowledge of their migration patterns through West Africa and beyond. We run regular ringing courses for bird ringers from the UK. Each ringing course sponsors a number of Gambian students to gain valuable work experience learning the skills of bird ringing. To date 357 species of bird have been recorded at Kartong. KBO received over 600 visiting birders during the 2013-14 season.

Mission statement

  • Study bird populations and migration.
  • Carry out bird ringing and other appropriate techniques to provide data on local bird communities.
  • Improve public awareness and understanding of the environmental and economic benefits of biodiversity conservation.
  • Analyse and publish scientific results
  • Provide data to The Gambian Department of Parks and Wildlife Management (DPWM) and other conservation organisations.
  • Liaise with NGOs, bird ringers, naturalists, and bird watchers to help protect Kartong Wetlands.
  • To provide educational resources demonstrations and training opportunities to build research capacity in The Gambia.
  • Record all fauna and flora occurring at Kartong.

Latest news and pictures from KBO

  • Reed Warbler from KBO re-captured in Norfolk

    Wintering Reed Warblers are regularly encountered at Kartong both in the Typha reedbeds and the dry coastal and Acacia scrub that surrounds the wetlands. We have just received news that a Reed...

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  • KBO ringing report - Winter 2014/15

    The KBO ringing report for the 2014/15 winter, including the main ringing course in January 2015, is now published online here. On the expedition 1888 birds were captured including 303 (16.0%)...

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  • December 2014

    SANDWICH TERN: A report has just been received of a colour ring Sandwich Tern seen at Tanji ringed from the colony at the Blakeney National Trust reserve, Norfolk. This project in Norfolk started in 2013...

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  • Sightings Update November 2014

    Short-eared Owl (third Gambian record and new species for the site) Hudsonian Whimbel, last winters bird returning. Lesser Moorhen Booted Eagle Black Stork, a new species for the Obs Record numbers...

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