IBA criteria met: A1, A3, A4, B1a, B3a, B3b (2019)
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Area: 180,000 ha
|IBA conservation status|
|Year of assessment (most recent)||Threat (pressure)||Condition (state)||Action (response)|
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Site description (baseline)
The site consists of the deltas of the seasonal Sine, Saloum and Diombos rivers. It lies south-west of Kaolack, and forms the border with The Gambia at the Atlantic coast, where it is contiguous with Niumi National Park (IBA GM003). The whole delta area covers a linear distance of 72.5 km along the Atlantic coast and stretches 35 km inland. Much of the delta area consists of mangroves (principally Rhizophora spp. and Avicennia nitida), which extend 70 km upstream to Kaolack. The Biosphere Reserve (and IBA) covers an area of 180,000 ha, of which 95,000 ha is marine, rivers or inundated areas (30,000 ha of which is intertidal), and 85,000 ha is terrestrial savanna or forest (either mainland or islands in the river channels). Part of the site (76,000 ha) is designated as a National Park and Ramsar Site (the Parc National du Delta du Saloum). This consists of 61,000 ha of sea and rivers, 7,000 ha of intertidal mangroves and saltwater vegetation and 8,000 ha of terrestrial savanna or forest (including the dry sand-dune forest of ‘Fathala’).
See Box and Table 2 for key species. The site is important for a very wide variety of waterbirds and seabirds, some occurring in large congregations. The marine and coastal zone, and particularly the sandbars and islands, are of huge importance for breeding terns and gulls. On one island alone (Ile aux Oiseaux) a total of 40,000 nests of four species was recorded in 1991, and the largest breeding colony of Sterna maxima in the world (estimated at 40,000 nests in 1999) also occurs here. This makes Ile aux Oiseaux and the Delta du Saloum IBA the most important breeding site for gulls and terns on the coast of Senegal. The highest counts of wintering Larus audouinii in Senegal are recorded from Palmarin, within the site, where it is frequent to abundant, with a maximum single count of 522 birds in January 1997. Occasional small numbers of Phoenicopterus minor occur on the site and there are also sporadic breeding records for the species, but no recorded numbers and most authors agree that the only known West African breeding site is in Mauritania. In addition, five species of the Guinea–Congo Forests (A05) biome have been recorded at this site (see Table 2). These include Anthreptes gabonicus, currently only known from this IBA in Senegal; however, it may be expected to occur on Parc National de Basse Casamance (site SN014), as its habitat does.
Non-bird biodiversity: The marine fauna includes breeding turtles: Dermochelys coriacea (EN), Chelonia mydas (EN), Caretta caretta (EN), Eretmochelys imbricata (CR) and Lepidochelys olivacea (EN). The site is also an important fish spawning and feeding ground (113 species recorded). Coastal and marine mammal species include Trichechus senegalensis (VU), Sousa teuszii (DD) and Stenella spp. The dry forest (Fathala and other islands) contains threatened mammal species typical of the Sudan–Sahel interface, including Piliocolobus badius temmincki (LR/nt), Cephalophus rufilatus (LR/cd) and Redunca redunca (LR/cd).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Delta du Saloum. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/6852 on 07/06/2023.