Arli - W - Singou complex

Country/territory: Burkina Faso

IBA Criteria met: A3, A4ii (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 923,000 ha

Fondation des Amis de la Nature (NATURAMA)
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2009 high near favourable medium
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
This large complex of contiguous conservation areas is located in the south-east of the country, to the east of Lake Kompienga (IBA BF007) and adjacent to the international frontiers with Togo, Benin and Niger. The core of the area is formed by the W National Park (235,000 ha) furthest east, against the joint frontier with Niger and Benin, Arli National Park (76,000 ha) to the south-west, along the border with Benin, and Singou Game Ranch (192,800 ha), immediately north-west of Arli. These are surrounded by classified forests and non-classified lands forming 10 hunting concessions and many adjacent village hunting zones. These different blocks constitute the largest remaining wilderness area in Burkina. In addition, they form part of transboundary reserves in Benin and Niger, thus doubling the size of the area. These include the IBAs of W National Park in Niger (NE001) and, in Benin, W du Bénin National Park (BJ001) and Pendjari National Park (BJ002).A major feature of the area is an extensive network of rivers, drainage lines and flood-plains. Although the Pendjari river, which forms the southern boundary of Arli and the frontier with Benin, is usually permanent, many of the smaller rivers and ponds dry completely by the end of the dry season. The non-inundated areas are covered in a shrub- and tree-savanna, with extensive stands of Isoberlinia doka. The open, seasonally inundated plains are dotted with ponds ringed with Mitragyna inermis while larger drainage lines are lined in places by gallery forest. Many scattered baobab Adansonia digitata trees occur, marking the sites of old villages. There is an area of dramatic cliffs, the Falaise de Gobnangou, which extends for 50 km from the south-west to the north-east through the park, and also a number of isolated inselbergs.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 2 for key species. During the 1970s Falco naumanni was frequent; its current status is unknown. The site contains the last significant populations in Burkina Faso of species such as Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis, Leptoptilos crumeniferus and Balearica pavonina. The Falaise de Gobnangou, together with the adjacent Pagou peak and the cliffs near Tanbarga, holds the only breeding colony in of Gyps rueppellii in Burkina Faso. Although there are no quantitative data, it is thought numbers exceed the 1% threshold for the species. It is also possible that more than 20,000 waterbirds occur but there are no counts.

Non-bird biodiversity: Numbers of the ungulate Damaliscus lunatus korrigum (LR/cd) in this complex of reserves represent possibly the last remaining viable population in the region; it is certainly the only one left in Burkina. The same is true for the mammals Acinonyx jubatus (VU) and, perhaps, for Lycaon pictus (EN); counts suggest that numbers of Loxodonta africana (EN) are increasing.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Arli - W - Singou complex. Downloaded from on 28/11/2022.