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Location Burkina Faso, Houet
Central coordinates 4o 9.00' West  11o 33.00' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 19,200 ha
Altitude 296 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Fondation des Amis de la Nature (NATURAMA)



Site description The site is located about 50 km north of the city of Bobo-Dioulasso in the upper Mouhoun valley. The Mare aux Hippopotames is, in the rainy season, a 600 ha lake within a classified forest. At the end of the dry season the lake is reduced to about 120 ha and is covered with dense aquatic vegetation, while the exposed flood-plain supplies fodder for the lake’s hippopotamus herd. A further 864 ha of flood-plain occur along other lines of drainage. The remainder of the reserve comprises some 1,756 ha of gallery forest and 11,000 ha of savanna woodland.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. Although, to date, 243 species have been recorded at the site, including many waterbird species, more surveys are required, particularly of the gallery forest and woodlands. Several species little recorded elsewhere in Burkina occur, including Microparra capensis, Treron australis and Apaloderma narina.

Non-bird biodiversity: In addition to Hippopotamus amphibius, Loxodonta africana (EN) occur seasonally at the site and in the nearby Maro Classified Forest. Cephalophus rufilatus (LR/cd), uncommon in Burkina, is present.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Bearded Barbet Pogonornis dubius resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Violet Turaco Musophaga violacea resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Oriole Warbler Hypergerus atriceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blackcap Babbler Turdoides reinwardii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-crowned Robin-chat Cossypha albicapilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-rumped Bunting Emberiza affinis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2001 low near favourable low
Habitat
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration low

Forest   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Shrubland   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Wetlands (inland)   0 0 moderate (70-90%) good (> 90%) near favourable

Some of site covered (10-49%)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Forêt classée de la mare aux hippopotames UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 186,000 protected area contains site 19,200  
La Mare aux hippopotames Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 19,200 is identical to site 19,200  
Mare aux Hippopotames Bird Reserve 19,200 is identical to site 19,200  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Bala SSG 1998

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   36%
Shrubland   56%
Forest   6%
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes and pools  minor

Land use

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

References Bayala (1998), MET (1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mare aux Hippopotames. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/12/2014

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