|Central coordinates||16o 26.00' West 16o 34.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||2 - 6m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box for key species. In addition, Chott Boul is one of the only sites where Podiceps nigricollis overwinters in the area; 180 were recorded in December 1998. Counts of other species include 4,000 Larus fuscus in 2001. Chott Boul and the southern parts of Aftout es Saheli hold only known nesting colony of Phoenicopterus minor in West Africa (see site MR012).
Site description Chott Boul is a coastal wetland formed by an ancient mouth of the Senegal river, now isolated from it and with only temporary connections to the sea (behind a 10-km strip of coastal dunes). It lies 175 km south of Nouakchott and 70 km west of Rosso. The total area is approximately 15,500 ha, of which 7,000 ha is a marine zone of mudflats, intertidal saltmarsh, fresh water and brackish zones. The terrestrial zone is made up of 8,500 ha of wetland, floodable plains with temporary and permanent swamps, lakes and marshes of brackish to hyper-saline water. Fresh water enters the system between September and November from Hassi Baba swamp, part of the Diawling-Tichillit system within Diawling National Park (site MR021). Thus, the southern edge of Chott Boul is contiguous with Diawling while Aftout-Es-Saheli (MR012) lies immediately to the north and is fed by a swamp connecting the Grand Lac at Chott Boul with the southern flood-plain of the Aftout.Other than for this swamp, Chott Boul is limited to the north by mobile and stable dunes and to the east by a flood-plain and rice-fields. The dunes to the north are covered by Euphorbia balsamifera and Tamarix senegalensis. The northern part of the site is an unvegetated, flat saltpan, which may once have been an area of mangroves. The south is characterized by halophytic vegetation, the remnants of flood-plain forests (Acacia nilotica, Tamarix senegalensis) and grasslands (Sporobolus robustus, Vetiveria nigritana and Juncus rigidus).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata||winter||2001||4,590 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus||winter||2001||1,543 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor||resident||-||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta||winter||2001||5,650 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa||winter||2001||7,900 individuals||-||A4i||Near Threatened|
|Slender-billed Gull Larus genei||winter||2001||800 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Caspian Tern Sterna caspia||winter||2000||986 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||2001||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Chat Tboul||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||15,500||is identical to site||15,500|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||9%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Local salt collection.|
Other biodiversity The canids Fennecus zerda (DD) and Vulpes pallida (DD) occur, as does the nationally vulnerable Varanus griseus.
Management considerations Chott Boul is currently protected by the Marine Nationale as a maritime surveillance zone. The site receives a managed inflow of fresh water from Diawling National Park (site MR021), in collaboration with the OMVS (Organisation de mise en valeur du Fleuve Senegal), in September–October each year. A few nomad families who graze sheep and goats and collect salt inhabit the area. Artisanal fishermen, visit the permanent lakes. Hunting, particularly of pelicans, is believed to be a problem. Visitors from nearby urban centres are responsible for poaching and dumping in the area. The main threats, however, come primarily from development projects and include the intensification of agriculture, resulting in ingress of fertilizer-rich waste water from rice-fields, and accumulation of pesticides from agricultural pest-control. Such contaminants would become concentrated through evaporation. Another risk comes from the possible expansion of intensive shrimp fishing that occurs in the marshes and swamps in the delta. This form of fishing uses very fine nets (20 mm mesh) and poses a risk to fish stocks as large numbers of juvenile fish are destroyed.
References De Naurois (1969), Hamerlynck and ould Samba (1995), IUCN (1999), Measson (2001).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chott Boul. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/06/2013
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