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Location Mali, Tombouctou
Central coordinates 3o 55.00' West  16o 13.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 18,900 ha
Altitude 260 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description Lac Horo is a semi-permanent wetland located 60 km south-west of the town of Goundam at the northern end of the Inner Delta of the Niger, some 20 km south-west of Lac Télé (site ML004), but not directly connected with it. Under natural conditions the lake retained flood water from the Niger throughout the dry season in years of good rainfall, but otherwise dried out completely by April. Now the lake is separated from the river by a dam and sluice gate through which the flow of water from the river is controlled. The sluice is opened in mid-November to allow flood water to fill the lake and closed again when the desired level is reached. The lake edges support beds of Typha sp. and Polygonum senegalensis and open water is colonized by Nymphaea sp. and Vossia cuspidata.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. In addition, two species of the Sahel biome (A03) have been recorded from this site (see Table 2). Total counts of waterfowl made in nine years during the period 1972–1987 varied between 25,419 (1983) and 127,823 (1985).

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  1985  27,600 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Fulvous Whistling-duck Dendrocygna bicolor winter  1984  23,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Garganey Spatula querquedula winter  1985  31,270 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  1987  5,600 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Great White Egret Ardea alba winter  1999  560 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus winter  1978  1,600 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  1985  6,200 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 
Ruff Calidris pugnax winter  1978  32,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia winter  1979  2,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus winter  1980  3,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2001 medium not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Delta Intérieur du Niger Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 4,119,500 protected area contains site 18,900  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   22%
Wetlands (inland)   11%
Shrubland   18%
Forest   48%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
nature conservation and research -
water management -

References Jones (1993), Skinner (1987).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lac Horo. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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