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Location Senegal, St Louis
Central coordinates 13o 55.00' West  15o 35.00' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 600,000 ha
Altitude 100 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description The site lies in north-eastern Senegal, south of the Senegal river which forms the border with Mauritania at this point. The site lies between the valleys of the Senegal river and the Ferlo river (the latter usually remains dry) at an altitude of less than 100 m, even though it is over 300 km inland. Although crossed by a number of river channels, the area is mainly very dry with sandy soils and occasional pockets of clay. In the rainy season, water accumulates in old river channels and depressions, leading to concentrations of animals in these areas and more lush vegetation along these ancient watercourses. The vegetation is Sahel thorn-bush savanna, dominated by Acacia spp. and Balanites aegyptiaca, larger trees such as Bombax costatum, Pterocarpus erinaceus and Combretum glutinosum, and shrubs of Boscia spp. Episodes of low rainfall combined with overgrazing by cattle and goats have turned many areas into semi-desert and sandstorms are common as a result.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. Until 1996, the site had not been comprehensively surveyed for birds, but in January to March of that year Ornis Consult conducted detailed survey work in this site and in Ferlo South (site SN008). A total of 184 bird species are now recorded from the two reserves combined. The site is important for Palearctic migrants, especially raptors. These include Circus macrourus (individuals or small numbers recorded in each month of the 1996 surveys and reported as “fairly common wintering in the north down to 15°N”), C. pygargus, and Falco naumanni, also recorded on the site and said to be “scarce to frequent in northern and central Senegal”. The Sahel biome species found at this site include Ardeotis arabs, declining throughout northern Senegal, and Passer luteus, which is found throughout the north and spreading south, indicating a general drying-out of northern areas. Ploceus heuglini, one of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome species, is recorded from no other IBA in Senegal. Two species restricted to the Sahara–Sindian (A02) are also recorded (Alaemon alaudipes and Ammomanes deserti). Ostriches, Struthio camelus, were known to occur previously in the northern Ferlo and were recorded in the 1996 surveys, but their range has been greatly reduced and the residual population is probably very small.

Non-bird biodiversity: Residual populations of Gazella rufifrons (VU) and G. dorcas (VU) are reported as still extant in the Ferlo, but these species, along with most other wild mammals, have been hunted very heavily and are extremely rare in the region. The tortoise Geochelone sulcata (VU) occurs within the site.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Arabian Bustard Ardeotis arabs resident  1998  present  A3  Near Threatened 
Savile's Bustard Lophotis savilei resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
African Collared-dove Streptopelia roseogrisea resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Golden Nightjar Caprimulgus eximius resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sahelian Woodpecker Dendropicos elachus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Piapiac Ptilostomus afer resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sennar Penduline-tit Anthoscopus punctifrons resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Cricket Longtail Spiloptila clamans resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Purple Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bronze-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis chalcurus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-bellied Starling Lamprotornis pulcher resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-crowned Robin-chat Cossypha albicapilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black Scrub-robin Cercotrichas podobe resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bush Petronia Petronia dentata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Heuglin's Masked-weaver Ploceus heuglini resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Ferlo-Nord Wildlife Reserve 600,000 protected area contained by site 487,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   63%
Grassland   36%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -

References DPN (1996), Morel and Morel (1990), Nøhr and Jørgensen (1997), Ornis Consult (1997), WCMC (1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ferlo North. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014

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