|Location||Burkina Faso, Sourou|
|Central coordinates||3o 28.00' West 12o 50.00' North|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box for key species. Although there are few data the site is known to hold what may be the largest concentration of wildfowl (Anatidae) in Burkina Faso, including large numbers of Plectropterus gambensis, Sarkidiornis melanotos, Alopochen aegyptiacus, Nettapus auritus, Dendrocygna bicolor and D. viduata. Palearctic species recorded include Anas acuta, A. querquedula and A. crecca. It is likely that at least some of these species will be found to exceed 1% threshold numbers.
Site description The site is situated in the north-west of country, close to the international frontier with Mali in the northern Sudan sector, to the west of the town of Tougan. The Sourou river formerly flowed due south from Mali to join the Mouhoun river, west of the town of Sourou, except at the height of the wet season when there was a reverse flow from the Mouhoun into the Sourou. Since the early 1980s, however, its 55-km-long passage through Burkina Faso to the Mouhoun has been permanently flooded by the construction of a dam close to the confluence of the two rivers. The artificial lake varies from several hundred metres to 4 km wide and provides a vast area of shallows covered with perennial grasses such as Echinocloa pyramidalis, E. stagnina and Vossia cuspidata. The western banks of the lake are lined with, in effect, one vast Acacia thicket which, with increasing distance from the lake, merges into northern Sudan savanna in the south and sub-Sahelian grassland in the north. These areas, stretching west and north into Mali, are one of few remaining tracts of wilderness left in Burkina.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||-||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.
|Sourou Valley Site Support Group||2000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||86%|
|Artificial landscapes (aquatic)||Other artificial wetlands||major|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity A few individuals of most native species of larger mammals are said to be present, including the occasional Loxodonta africana (EN), ranging up from protected areas along the Mouhoun river to the south. In addition, Panthera leo (VU) and most of Burkina’s wild ungulates still have relict populations in the area. There is a large population of Hippopotamus amphibius in the lake.
Management considerations The area is remote and despite the activities of local poachers is probably losing wildlife no faster than elsewhere in the country. A hunting concession for the area was granted in 1991. This worked well, at least initially, providing some protection for wildlife in the classified forest along the Mouhoun river to the south. The current situation is, however, unknown. Modern rice farming and irrigated agriculture are also being promoted at specific sites along the lake, mostly in central and northern parts of the eastern side.
Related state of the world's birds case studies
Contribute Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Sourou. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/06/2013
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife