|Location||Gambia, Lower River Division|
|Central coordinates||15o 55.00' West 13o 23.00' North|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box and Table 2 for species. The reserve is well studied ornithologically. The park is a stronghold of Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome species such as Myrmecocichla albifrons, Cisticola dorsti, C. rufus, Emberiza affinis and Plocepasser superciliosus, all of which have restricted distributions in The Gambia. It is also probably important for species dependent on closed-canopy savanna woodland such as Campephaga phoenicia and Coracina pectoralis. The park is notable for its diversity of raptors including Terathopius ecaudatus. The mangrove forests hold an important population of Poicephalus robustus, although it is uncertain whether they breed here or in Bao Bolon Wetland Reserve (GM008) on the opposite bank of the river. There are generally low numbers of waterbirds on the bolons and riverbank.
Site description The park is on the south bank of the Gambia River, 100 km from the coast. It is, by Gambian standards, a substantial area of unpopulated savanna, although seven villages lie close to its border. Most of the site is on a low-lying plateau which supports a degraded savanna dominated by open Combretum and Pterocarpus erinaceus woodland with occasional taller trees such as Adansonia digitata and Ceiba pentandra and a layer of Andropogon grasses. There are a few areas of more closed-canopy woodland on escarpments and near the village of Jali. Towards the river the plateau is cut by the tidal inlets of Jarin, Jali and Nganingkoi Bolons. Here there is a typical zonation from Mitragyna–Acacia woodland to saltmarsh, Avicennia mangrove and Rhizophora mangrove. The park extends to the bank of the river. There are several small watering holes below the escarpment and beyond these are saltmarsh, mangrove and narrow tidal mudflats.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Blue-bellied Roller Coracias cyanogaster||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bearded Barbet Lybius dubius||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-billed Shrike Corvinella corvina||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Piapiac Ptilostomus afer||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow Penduline-tit Anthoscopus parvulus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pied-winged Swallow Hirundo leucosoma||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sun Lark Galerida modesta||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Dorst's Cisticola Cisticola guinea||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Rufous Cisticola Cisticola rufus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Blackcap Babbler Turdoides reinwardii||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Purple Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bronze-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis chalcurus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-fronted Black-chat Myrmecocichla albifrons||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser superciliosus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bush Petronia Petronia dentata||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Heuglin's Masked-weaver Ploceus heuglini||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-winged Pytilia Pytilia phoenicoptera||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Lavender Waxbill Estrilda caerulescens||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-rumped Waxbill Estrilda troglodytes||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Brown-rumped Bunting Emberiza affinis||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Kiang West||National Park||11,000||protected area contained by site||11,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||6%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Firewood collection; gathering natural products.|
Other biodiversity Mammals of global conservation concern include Procolobus badius temminckii (EN); Trichechus senegalensis (VU) used to occur but may now be extinct.
Management considerations The park was gazetted in 1987 and is managed by the DPWM. The main management efforts are to maintain the firebreak which surrounds the park, to educate villagers about the park’s functions and to restrict illegal grazing, felling and hunting. Poaching, however, is still a problem. At present few tourists visit the park, but the planned trails, camps and guides will, it is hoped, change this. There are also proposals for aid to support the surrounding villages in agroforestry and for ecotourism projects in the buffer zone of the park, so that nearby villagers can benefit from the existence of the park. There is a little permitted rice cultivation inside the park boundaries and villagers can gather minor forest products and some firewood.
References Gilbert and Camara (1990), Gilbert et al. (1992), Wheeler and Wheeler (1992).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kiang West National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/05/2013
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