|Location||Mauritania, Hodh El Gharbi|
|Central coordinates||9o 17.00' West 16o 20.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Gâat Sawana (more than 800 ha) and Tâmourt Oum Lellé (more than 400 ha) are located 67 km south-east of the regional capital, Ayoûn. Gâat Sawana is a clay depression on an open plain where seasonal rains accumulate. It is an important area for traditional flood-recession agriculture. When flooded, it presents a large open expanse of water with abundant aquatic vegetation. Rainwater is fed in from two wadis and water reaches a depth of up to 1 m. Water is retained in the depression for five to eight months. The sandy zone around the depression supports grasses such as Cenchrus biflorus, Panicum and Aristida spp. and trees and bushes including Leptadenia pyrotechnica, Balanites aegyptiaca and Acacia raddiana. The vegetation of the floodable zone inlcudes Helioptropium sp.,Indigofera sp., Eragrostis tremula, Sesbania leptocarpa and Cyperus esculentus, while the aquatic zone on clay soils supports Cyperus sp., Nymphaea sp., Sporobolus helvolus, Oryza barthii and Ipomoea aquatica with Acacia nilotica and Ziziphus mauritiana.Oum Lellé lies 11 km north of Sawana in another clay-lined depression. The tâmourt is deeper than the gâat, holds water for longer and is characterized by a woodland of Acacia nilotica in the centre of the depression and by the absence of aquatic vegetation. The surrounding area is a zone of rich pastoral land dominated by grasses such as Cenchrus biflorus, Panicum and Aristida spp. while trees and shrubs include Acacia raddiana, A. ehrenbergiana, Balanites aegyptiaca and Leptadenia pyrotechnica.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. In January 2000, 85 Aythya nyroca and 17,000 Anas querquedula were recorded at this site.
Non-bird biodiversity: The tortoise Geochelone sulcata (VU) occurs.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca||winter||2000||85 individuals||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Gallinula chloropus||winter||1999||1,000 individuals||-||A4i||Not Recognised|
|Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio||winter||2000||200 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Himantopus himantopus||winter||2000||2,135 individuals||-||A4i||Not Recognised|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||-||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||7%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sawana - Oum Lellé. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/05/2015
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