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Location Burkina Faso, Oudalan
Central coordinates 0o 25.00' West  14o 58.00' North
IBA criteria A3, A4i, A4iii
Area 105,000 ha
Altitude 250 - 300m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Fondation des Amis de la Nature (NATURAMA)

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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio winter  481 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus winter  1,741 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
African Collared-dove Streptopelia roseogrisea resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kordofan Lark Mirafra cordofanica resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cricket Longtail Spiloptila clamans resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black Scrub-robin Cercotrichas podobe resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2009 medium unfavourable negligible
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing likely in short term (within 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Grassland   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

Himantopus himantopus 1741 1500 individuals 87 near favourable

Unknown  No management planning has taken place  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  negligible 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sahel Partial Faunal Reserve 1,600,000 protected area contains site 105,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   3%
Grassland   96%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
hunting -
nature conservation and research -

References Fishpool et al. (2000), Weessie (1996).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Béli River. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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