|Central coordinates||9o 30.00' East 19o 12.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3|
|Altitude||400 - 1,988m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box and Table 2 for key species. Information derives mainly from Newby et al. (1987) and Newby and Canney (1989?); the latter list 164 species for the reserve. Of these, 41% are resident, 12% are intra-Africa migrants (mostly present only during the rains) with the remaining 46% wintering or passage migrants from the Palearctic. Neotis nuba is known to breed and is present all year. Given the size of the reserve, the population is likely to be important (>10 pairs likely); in 1989 there were 38 observations of at least 47 birds. The (northern) Aïr appears to be on a migration route of Circus macrourus, with several observations from March and June. Other notable species include Struthio camelus. All 14 Sahara–Sindian biome species known from Niger have been reported. Of these, 12 are resident breeders, Pterocles coronatus is either resident or a breeding migrant while Falco concolor is probably merely vagrant. Of the eight Sahel biome species reported from the reserve, seven are breeding residents while Spiloptila clamans was only observed once. Ardeotis arabs, Caprimulgus eximius and Anthoscopus punctifrons may also occur, but have so far only been reported from nearby areas.
Site description The National Nature Reserve of the Aïr and the Teneré covers the eastern half of the Aïr massif and the western part of the Ténéré Desert. The Aïr massif reaches 2,022 m (1,988 m within the reserve). It was called the ‘Switzerland’ of Africa by the explorer Barth in 1850, and may be regarded as a Sahelian outpost in the Sahara. The Aïr–Ténéré forms a complex mosaic of arid and hyper-arid environments. Five principal habitats are recognized: mountains, plateaus, large wadis (dry watercourses), small-scale irrigated horticultural areas, and stony or sandy desert. Standing water may occur for longer or shorter periods in all five habitats.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Sooty Falcon Falco concolor||breeding||1999||unknown [units unknown]||-||A3||Near Threatened|
|Nubian Bustard Neotis nuba||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A3||Near Threatened|
|Spotted Sandgrouse Pterocles senegallus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|African Collared-dove Streptopelia roseogrisea||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pharaoh Eagle-owl Bubo ascalaphus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-breasted Barbet Trachyphonus margaritatus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sahelian Woodpecker Dendropicos elachus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pale Crag-martin Hirundo obsoleta||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Greater Hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Cricket Longtail Spiloptila clamans||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Fulvous Chatterer Turdoides fulva||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-bellied Starling Lamprotornis pulcher||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black Scrub-robin Cercotrichas podobe||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Blackstart Cercomela melanura||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Desert Sparrow Passer simplex||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Not Recognised|
|Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Aïr and Ténéré||National Nature Reserve||6,456,000||protected area contained by site||6,456,000|
|Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves||World Heritage Site||7,736,000||is identical to site||7,736,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Collection of firewood.|
Other biodiversity Mammals of global conservation concern include Acinonyx jubatus 127>(VU), Gazella dorcas (VU), G. dama (EN) and Ammotragus lervia (VU). Oryx gazella dammah (EW) and Addax nasomaculatus (CR) used to occur, but are presumed to do so no longer. The reserve is one of the few places in the world where wild olive Olea laperrinei still occurs.
Management considerations The National Nature Reserve of the Aïr and the Teneré was proclaimed in 1988. A Strict Nature Reserve, also called the Addax Sanctuary, was established within the boundaries of the Nature Reserve at the same time, covering 1,280,500 ha. The reserve also contains important archaeological and palaeontological sites. The two reserves were declared a World Heritage Site in 1991. The reserve belongs to the state, which appoints the team responsible for its (participatory) management. The Niger Government, WWF and IUCN used to run a large development project in the reserve, which sought the sustainable use of resources to the benefit of the inhabitants of the reserve and the preservation of their traditional activities of livestock-raising, market gardening and transport by camel caravans. In addition, the project tried to develop new forms of sustainable utilization of natural resources, including tourism. The project had to be discontinued in 1990 because of armed rebellion. Moves to re-open the project began in 1997. Although little information is available, larger wildlife in particular is likely to have suffered from shooting and poaching during the period of rebellion, as well as at other times, including by the armed forces. The local population is much involved in the management project, and tries to maintain earlier achievements. There is, however, no formal management plan for the reserve; instead, two- or three-year programmes are formulated on a rolling basis. Other threats include tourist vehicles pursuing wildlife to obtain photographs, overgrazing, competition/disturbance by livestock, over-exploitation of firewood (near centres of population), the illegal commercial collection of wood and the failure of reserve authorities to obtain the full recognition of the reserve by other government departments.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: NNR Aïr - Ténéré. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/05/2013
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