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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.

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 

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 -

Other 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.

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 27/08/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife