Basse Vallée de l'Ouémé, Lagune de Porto-Novo, Lac Nokoué
Basse Vallée de l'Ouémé, Lagune de Porto-Novo, Lac Nokoué. 24/01/00; 91,600 ha; 06°39'N, 002°32'E. The coastal area between Cotonou and the capital Porto Novo at the mouth of the Ouémé River, varied ecosystems comprising swamp forest (Mitragyna inermis, Raphia hookeri) and periodically inundated forest (Berlinia grandiflora, Dalium guineense); flooded prairies of Paspalum vaginatum and Typha australis, and floating vegetation dominated by water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes); and mangrove plantations (Rhizophora racemosa). Some 78 species of fish have been identified, and 168 species of birds, as well as sitatunga, several pythons, and terrestrial and marine tortoises. Human uses include fishing by 24,000 professional and 13,000 seasonal fisherpeople, bringing employment to some 200,000 people in total; agricultural production, chiefly of manioc, maïs, sugar cane, sweet potatos, and market gardening. Palm trees (Raphia hookeri) are the object of strong economic activities in construction, palm wine, etc. Ramsar site no. 1018.