The Annotated Ramsar List: Gambia

13/10/2008

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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

GAMBIA / GAMBIE

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Gambia on 16 January 1997. Gambia presently has 3 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 31,244 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

Baobolon Wetland Reserve. 16/09/96; North Bank Division; 20,000 ha; 13º50’N 015º90’W. Protected Wetland. A tidal wetland complex on the Gambia River consisting of six major bolons (tributaries), tidal estuaries, and three distinct wetland ecosystems: mangrove forest, saltmarsh and savanna woodland. The tidal flats have been dyked for fresh water retention and rice production. The mangroves provide important fish spawning habitat. The site borders Senegal, offering the potential for bilateral cooperation with management. Human activities are predominantly recreational (birdwatching, wildlife viewing, fishing, and canoeing) and also include mangrove and thatch grass harvesting. Ramsar site no. 860. Most recent RIS information: 1996.

Niumi National Park.13/10/08; North Bank Division; 4,940 ha; 13°34’N 016°31’W. National Park. A complex of  wetland types along the coastal strip of the northern section of the River Gambia, ranging from coastal to inland wetlands which hold important hydrological values, i.e. flood control, groundwater replenishment, shoreline stabilization and sediment and nutrient retention and export. The flora and fauna are of particular note due to their abundance and adaptations to the range of habitat types found within the site. The noteworthy flora include Rhizophora mangrove forest, Nymphaea lotus, Parkia biglobosa etc. – noteworthy fauna include 303 species of resident and migratory birds, the West African manatee, leopards, and Red Colobus monkeys. Human uses within the site are noted as rice cultivation, livestock rearing, and fishing activities. In the surrounding areas some small industries are in operation. Potential threats are due to unsuitable fishing practices, illegal hunting, land clearance, expansion of agricultural activity, and sand mining. The management plan is being updated and a management committee is to be established following completion of the endangered species survey. The site adjoins Senegal’s Delta du Saloum Ramsar site and collaborative management arrangements are being formalized. Ramsar site no. 1840. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

Tanbi Wetland Complex.02/02/07; Banjul, Kanifing, Brikama; 6,304 ha; 13°26'N and 016°38'W. A low-altitude zone formed from the deposition of marine and fluvial sediments, which constitutes estuarine and intertidal forested wetlands, 80% of which is dominated by mangrove swamps with Rhizophora mangle, R. harrisoni, R. racemosa, Avicennia africana, Laguncularia racemosa, Annona glabra and West Indian Alder Conocarpus erectus being the main mangrove species found here. It captures incoming water and rainfall, thus playing an important role in shoreline stabilization, sediment and nutrient retention and export, ground water replenishment and flood control, thereby acting as a hydrological buffer zone. This site harbours vulnerable species like the African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis), African Clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), and the Western Red Colobus (Piliocolobus badius temminckii). The shade of the mangroves provide an important breeding ground for the shrimp Panaeus notialis in the Western African Marine Eco-region. Activities carried out in this area include subsistence fishing and agriculture, oyster and mangrove harvesting and tourism. Exposure to negative influences such as rapid coastal erosion, industrialization and agriculture has been noted. The Integrated Coastal and Marine Biodiversity (ICAM) project, jointly implemented by the Government of Gambia, the World Bank and WWF, will update the existing management plan for this site as well as carry out sensitization and educational activities. Ramsar site no. 1657. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

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