Working for birds in Africa

Important Bird Areas

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 12:14 -- abc_admin
Brown_Snake_Eagle_Senegal

Brown Snake Eagle Circaetus cinereus, Bondia NP, Senegal

Image Credit: 
Sue Walsh

There are no endemic species in Senegal and no primary Endemic Bird Area, although species representative of Sahel, Sudan-Guinea Savanna and Guinea-Congo Forests biomes occur in the country. There is one EBA secondary area for Mali Firefinch, Lagonosticta virata in the Upper Niger Valley and contiguous with that in Mali. Of particular note are the huge concentrations of migrant and resident waterbirds for which the wetlands in the floodplain of the Senegal river are of vital importance. It is estimated that 3 million migrant birds pass through the protected areas in the Senegal river each year. The importance of the coastline for resident and passage seabirds has become apparent in recent years with observations of tens of thousands of migrant terns, gulls and shearwaters moving along the coast.

There are seventeen Important Bird Areas (IBAs) covering 25,800 km or just over 13% of the total land area of the country. Of these, 10 are wetland sites and a further three are entirely coastal and marine reflecting the importance of the coast and river estuaries and deltas for both Afrotropical and migrant Palearctic species of waterbirds and seabirds. Of the seventeen sites, eight are officially fully protected, four are partly protected and five have no recognised protection.

The following six sites are in the north-west of the country and are important for breeding and migratory waterbirds with movement between the sites: Djoudj wetlands / the Parc National des Oiseaux du Djoudj, which is contiguous with Diawling National Park in Mauritania; Ndiaël basin (including the 'Trois Marigots'); Lac de Guiers; River Sénégal (Ntiagar to Richard-Toll); Gueumbeul Avifaunal Reserve and St Louis lagoons and the Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie.

The following are all coastal or near coastal sites: the Niayes, which are essentially coastal lagoons occurring discontinuously along the coastal belt from Dakar to St Louis; Cap Vert, which is the most westerly point in Africa and the peninsula on which Dakar stands; Parc National des Iles de la Madeleine, which are volcanic islands lying about 2 km off this peninsula; La Petite Côte; Joal-Fadiouth; and the Delta du Saloum, which forms the border with The Gambia and is contiguous with the Niumi National Park in that country.

Parc National de Basse Casamance lies in the delta of the Casamance river close to the border with Guinea-Bissau and is the only IBA in Senegal in which Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata and Rufous-winged Illadopsis Illadopsis rufescens have been recorded.  Kalissaye Avifaunal Reserve lies some 35 km further to the north-west.

Ferlo North in north-eastern Senegal lies due north of the almost contiguous Ferlo South. A total of 184 species were recorded in 1996 from the two sites combined. The sites are important for Palearctic migrants including Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus and Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni.

Parc National du Niokolo-Koba lies in south-eastern Senegal close to Guinea where it is contiguous with Badiar National Park. A total of 330 species have been recorded at this site and this is the only IBA in Senegal where Olive-green Camaroptera Camaroptera chloronata has been recorded.

For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.

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