Connecting Waterpeople

Senegal names Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie as Wetland of International Importance

  • Senegal names Parc National Langue Barbarie as Wetland of International Importance
    Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie. Credit: Jean Marie DUPART, 2020

About the entity

The Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Senegal has added Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie (PNLB) to the List of Wetland of International Importance. This “Ramsar Site” (no. 2467 on the List) is in the neighbourhood of Saint-Louis, in the historical region of Gandiol.

The Site receives water from a network dominated by the Senegal and Douty rivers, the Laomar lagoons and the Atlantic Ocean. Its thin, sandy peninsula-like nature protects villages against high tides and flooding by seawater.

The PNLP hosts five threatened IUCN red-listed marine turtles, including the green turtle Chelonia mydas, the olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea, the loggerhead Caretta caretta, the hawksbill Erethmochelys imbricata and the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea. These species use the Site for spawning and feeding and as a migration corridor.

The Park has a bird island, which receives thousands of nesting pairs of grey-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus), slender-billed gulls (Chroicocephalus genei) and royal terns (Thalasseus maximus) each year. The island is the most important breeding site for the grey-headed gulls.

A management plan was established by the Government of Senegal for the Park in 2020 to help manage canal construction and other factors threatening the Site’s ecological character.

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