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Location Senegal, St Louis
Central coordinates 16o 30.00' West  15o 55.00' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 2,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The Langue de Barbarie National Park lies south-west of the Guembeul Avifaunal Reserve (part of site SN005), about 25 km from St Louis. It consists of a 20-km length of intertidal flats and sand-dunes on a spit formed across the mouth of the Senegal river. It includes both marine and riverine (brackish) waters. The terrestrial part of the park is formed by three main islands, the Ile de Gandiole (2 ha) being the largest. The vegetation on the infertile sandy soils is Sahelian in composition and includes the species Ipomoea pes-caprae, Alternanthera maritima, Sporobolus spicatus and Sesuvium portulacastrum. There are no trees.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The site is particularly important for the large numbers of breeding and wintering gulls and terns, including breeding Sterna nilotica at the southern limit of its breeding range. Larus audouinii (LR/cd) is recorded regularly in small numbers along the river and lagoons (maximum 17 birds recorded from the Langue de Barbarie and St Louis lagoons [part of site SN005] combined in 1994). Sterna sandvicensis and S. albifrons are also recorded wintering in numbers which exceed IBA thresholds, but these records cover the whole coastline from St Louis to Kayar (i.e. also including site SN005, Guembeul Avifaunal Reserve and St Louis lagoons). The site is frequently used by wintering Phoenicopterus ruber; which move between this and all the other sites in the delta area of the Senegal river (i.e. sites SN001 to SN005 inclusive) and south-western Mauritania. Wintering Pandion haliaetus are common. Egretta gularis is recorded breeding (126 pairs in 1998). There is considerable interchange of birds of several species between this site and site SN005, which lies to the north, further upstream along the extensive Senegal river mouth.

Non-bird biodiversity: The marine fauna includes the turtles Chelonia mydas (EN), Dermochelys coriacea (EN), Eretmochelys imbricata (CR) and Caretta caretta (EN).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Sterna nilotica breeding  1984  200 breeding pairs  A4i  Not Recognised 
Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus winter  1997  1,838 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus breeding  1998  3,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei winter  1988  1,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei breeding  1991  2,850 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia winter  1997  424 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia breeding  1991  150 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus breeding  1991  2,650 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1998  35 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Langue de Barbarie National Park 2,000 is identical to site 2,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   52%
Wetlands (inland)   5%
Shrubland   5%
Grassland   35%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

References Delaporte and Dubois (1990), Hughes and Hughes (1992), Keijl et al. (1999).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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