The Parque Natural dos Tarrefes do Rio Cacheu or Rio Cacheu Mangroves Natural Park is located on the northernmost of the rivers which dissect Guinea-Bissau. The area of the National Park includes land on both banks of the river. On the southern side, the site includes stretches from the town of Cacheu eastwards to opposite the village of Apilho, on the northern bank. The northern part of the park is situated nearer the coast and so overlaps only partially with the southern half. It extends from a point some 10 km east of Cacheu, on the opposite bank, to the Rio de Elia, near the estuary mouth, and inland almost as far as the town of São Domingos. The area includes 30,000 ha of mangroves as well as tanne, mud- and sandbanks, semi-dry woodland, palm forest, savanna and agricultural land.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. To date 140 bird species have been recorded including, in addition to those listed below, seven species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome (A05); see Table 2. Few count data are available but, given the habitat, it is probable that the area seasonally holds significant numbers of waterbirds; 2,000 Phoenicopterus minor were recorded in May 2000.
Non-bird biodiversity: The mammal Trichechus senegalensis (VU) occurs.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The park is to be zoned such that 57% of the area will be totally or partially protected, 28% will form a transition zone and 15% will be for sustainable local use. There are 830 people in 14 villages in the south of the park and 7,284 people in 23 villages and one town in the north. However, within most of the park, away from the town in the north, the population density is only 1 per km². The inhabitants are involved in rice-growing, both in mangrove and upland areas, hunting, fishing, the collection of molluscs and crustaceans as well as products from savanna woodland, particularly palm-oil and palm-wine. In common with other coastal sites in Guinea-Bissau, clearing of mangroves for fuelwood (particularly for fish-drying) and rice cultivation are threats.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rio Cacheu. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 07/03/2021.