The Annotated Ramsar List: Senegal


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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Senegal on 11 November 1977. Senegal presently has 5 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 99,993 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Bassin du Ndiael.11/07/77; Saint-Louis; 10,000 ha; 16º10’N 016º05’W. Added to the Montreux Record, 4 July 1990. Wildlife Reserve. An alluvial basin of impermeable, saline soil in the Sénégal River floodplain. Vegetation is dominated by annual grasses and Acacia scrub. The natural hydrology of the region was transformed in the 1960s to improve conditions for agriculture, and subsequently aggravated by long periods of severe drought. These changes led to the site being listed on the Montreux Record in 1990. A hydrological restoration plan to return the site to its international importance in supporting impressive numbers of wintering migrant Palearctic and Afrotropical birds is being acted upon. The surrounding area supports traditional fishing and rice cultivation. Subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission in 1988. Ramsar site no. 139. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

Delta du Saloum.03/04/84; Kaolack, Fatwick; 73,000 ha; 13º37’N 016º42’W. World Heritage Site, Biosphere Reserve. Delta of the Sine and Saloum Rivers consisting of extensive mangrove forests dissected by saline channels, lagoons, islands, and islets. The site includes dune areas with dry, open forest. The site supports a varied fauna, including numerous species of notable mammals, four species of breeding turtles, and numerous species of nesting waterbirds and wintering Palearctic migrants. Human activities include nature conservation, tourism, and pastoralism. Management issues include illegal gathering of mollusc, bird, and turtle eggs and unsustainable exploitation of plant products. Surrounding areas are used for agriculture, livestock rearing, fishing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 288. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

Djoudj. 11/07/77; Fleuve; 16,000 ha; 16º20’N 016º12’W. Added to the Montreux Record, 4 July 1990; removed, then reinscribed in the Record, 16 June 1993. World Heritage Site; National Park. An inland delta consisting of an extensive complex of seasonally inundated, brackish lakes and pools linked by a network of channels in the Sénégal River floodplain. Water levels are artificially controlled. The terrestrial vegetation consists of Sahelian Tamarix and savannah with a ground layer of herbs and grasses in dry areas and various types of reedbeds in inundated areas. Internationally important numbers of various species of waterbirds use the site for breeding, staging and wintering, with up to 400,000 individuals present in January. Principal human activities are nature conservation and ecotourism. Surrounding areas are used for rice cultivation, livestock rearing, and hunting. Low rainfall is the most serious potential threat. Djoudj has been confronted with water quantity problems, which led to listing on the Montreux Record, but resolution of this problem through dams on the Senegal River led to removal from the Record. It was returned to the Record in 1993, however, due to infestations of Pistia stratiotes and Paspalum vaginatum. Subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission in 1988 and another in 2000. Removed from the Montreux Record, 8 September 2009. Ramsar site no. 138. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

Gueumbeul.29/09/86; Dagana; 720 ha; 15º57’N 016º28’W. Special Wildlife Reserve. An extensive saline lagoon surrounded by Sahelian vegetation and fed by seasonal rainfall and saltwater inflow from the Sénégal River. Supports various waterbirds, numerous Palearctic migrants, and nesting Afrotropical species. Human activities include nature conservation and education, tourism, and recreation. An experimental breeding center for Sahelian mammals and reptiles is located within the site. Ramsar site no. 338. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

Réserve Naturelle Communautaire de Tocc Tocc. 12/09/2013; St. Louis Region; 273 ha; 16°20'38''N 15°50'13''W. Biosphere Reserve. This site is a permanent coastal freshwater lake which provides a habitat for spawning, nursery and feeding for over 98 fish species including Bagrid and Eel Catfish (Chrysichthys nigrodigitatus and Clarias anguillaris) and Guinean tilapia (Tilapia guineensis), which are species of high nutritional and commercial value to the local communities. The site serves as home for a large colony of water birds including the White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), and also the freshwater Adanson's mud turtle (Pelusios adansonii) and the iconic and vulnerable West African Manatee (Trichechus senegalensis),which was  recently listed on CITES Appendix I. As well as acting as a reservoir of biodiversity, the site supports the hydrological balance of the Senegal River basin and provides services including groundwater recharge and flood control, and also desalination of brackish water for agricultural purposes. It is also a source of livelihoods for resident populations, which engage mainly in artisanal fisheries and harvesting of forest products such as Cyperus articulatus, a sedge species used as a base in the perfume industry. The main threats facing the site are overfishing and the uncontrolled abstraction of the water; a local management committee has been established to monitor these activities. Ramsar Site no. 2199. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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