Sahel Paradise Whydah Vidua orientalis adult male in breeding plumage - a Mali speciality, Sokolo, Mali
There are 17 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and one secondary Endemic Bird Area (EBA) designated by BirdLife International in Mali. From north to south, these are as follows:
Three IBAs are in the desert in the regions of Timbuktu (Tombouctou), Gao and Kidal: Tombouctou, Ag Oua - Ag Arbech, and Aguelhok.
Four IBAs are semi-permanent wetlands on the edge of the Sahara near Timbuktu: Lakes Fati, Faguinbine, Télé, and Horo. Of these Lake Horo was designated a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1987.
Five IBAs are within the Niger delta and contain signficant breeding colonies and / or wintering grounds: Lac Débo where over 500,000 waterfowl wintered in 1994, Koumbé Niasso, Kouakourou, Séri, and Timisobo-Képagou, where 20,000 pairs of herons and cormorants of 10 species bred in 1986. Of these Lac Débo and Séri are designated as Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.
Mare de Gossi is a semi-permanent wetland near Gao, where 21,000 wintering Garganey Anas querquedula were observed in 1984.
The Falaise de Bandiagara cliff area not only has birds but the Dogon villages on the escarpment are Mali's foremost tourist destination.
A proposed National Park is in the area of the Bafing river in western Mali near the Manantali dam.
A Biosphere Reserve that includes Sahelian bushland, Sudan-Guinea savanna, and riverine forest is north-west of Bamako along the Baoulé River: Boucle du Baoulé.
Sirakoroni-Tyènfala is an area of rocky outcrops along the Niger river north-east of the capital Bamako. This IBA is also an EBA secondary area for the endemic Mali Firefinch Lagonosticta virata.
For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.