Béli River

Country/territory: Burkina Faso

IBA Criteria met: A3, A4i, A4iii (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 105,000 ha

Protection status:

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 medium unfavourable negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The Béli river lies in the extreme north of the country, just south of the international frontier with Mali. The IBA comprises the length of the Béli in Burkina Faso, less the 5 km before the Mali and Niger boundaries, and including a 5-km-wide zone on each bank, to the north and south. It flows through an area of flat scrub steppe, interspersed with ancient sand-dunes covered with short grasses, large eroded flats and shallow wadis. Draining out of Mali, the seasonal Béli river, over much of its 140-km-long passage through Burkina, is a shallow drainage forming clusters of small lakes that progressively dry up after the rains, and which are bordered in places by dense thickets of Balanites aegyptiaca. Within 70 km of crossing the border into Niger, it joins the Niger river. Thousands of birds and domestic livestock share ponds during the dry season, when nomads bring their flocks to benefit from the abundant aquatic vegetation exposed by the shrinking shorelines. The most important areas for waterbirds are thought to be the clusters of dry season shallow ponds located about the nomad camps of Tin Akoff, Fadar Fadar and In Tangoum. Also included are areas of semi-desert grasslands away from the river, particularly south-west of Fadar Fadar, extending south of Forage Christine, which are sufficiently far from the river that they suffer from less grazing pressure.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 2 for key species. According to local poachers, a few Struthio camelus can still be found in the area but this needs confirmation. Balearica pavonina is present. The rarely reported Mirafra cordofanica has recently been found to occur in the western part of this site.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals of global conservation concern include Gazella rufifrons (VU). In addition, sightings of G. dama (EN), G. dorcas (VU) and Acinonyx jubatus (VU) were reported in the 1980s.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Béli River. Downloaded from on 26/10/2020.