The Annotated Ramsar List: Mali


The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Mali on 25 September 1987. Mali presently has 4 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 4,204,640 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Delta Intérieur du Niger. 01/02/2004; Mopti, Ségou, Tomboctou; 4,119,500 ha; 15°12'N 004°06'W. A vast floodplain situated in the middle of sahelian landscape, rich in natural resources and featuring varied ecosystems (lakes, forest floodplains, flooded grasslands and savannah). It is the largest inland wetland in West Africa and the second largest wetland in Africa, after the Okavanga Delta in Botswana. It supports an exceptionally high number of animal and plants species and is a refuge for many migratory birds, hosting more than 350 species, with 103 waterfowl species listed between 1998 and 2001. Each year more than 1 million birds come from more than 80 countries to use the delta. Several watery sites of the Inner Niger Delta are important for the survival of reptiles such as the Sebae or rock python (Python sebae), the Nile varan (Varanus niloticus), cobras (Naja sp.), vipers (Bitis arientens) and also many amphibians. The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) and the manatee (Trichechus senegalensis), both species registered on the IUCN's Red List of the threatened species, are still extant, although now threatened in the delta. The richness of fishes in the delta is another important feature, with some 138 species, 24 of which are endemic. Nearly one million people live on the resources of the delta ecosystems, by agriculture, farming, fishing, crop, navigation, tourism, etc. The Inner Niger Delta is the source of the emergence of the big empires of the 8th to 16th centuries (Ghana, Mali, Songhoy), then of the theocratic States of Sékou, Ahmadou and Elhadj Omar Tall. Numerous historic cities like Hamdallayi (ancient capital of the Dina), Djenné, Dia and Bandiagara are important economic, political and cultural centers today. The historic city of Djenné and the cliffs of Bandiagara have been on UNESCO's World Cultural and Natural Heritage lists since 1989. Ramsar site no. 1365. Most recent RIS information: 2004.

Note: The Delta Intérieur de Niger site incorporates the former Ramsar Sites of Lac Horo, Séri, and Walado Debo / Lac Debo, designated on 25/05/87.

Lac Magui. 22/03/2013; Kayes; 24,740 ha; 14°38'39''N 11°01'38''W. A permanent freshwater lake, receiving run-offs from several creeks. The lake is lined with herbaceous and woody plants at the bottom and very rich in biodiversity including small mammals, reptiles, fishes and waterbirds. It is a source of food and resting ground for several migrating birds with over 95 species identified, including Garganey Anas querquedula, Northern Pintail Anas acuta, Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus and the Purple Heron Ardea purpurea. 26,000 birds were counted in 2003 and over 21,800 in 2005. It is an important source of food and spawning ground for fishes from River Senegal. Its main hydrological functions include water retention, groundwater recharge, flood control and shoreline stabilisation, and it is important in maintaining the general hydrological balance of the Senegal River basin. The main human activities carried out in and around the site include agriculture, fishing and harvesting of forest products. Ramsar site no. 2126. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Lac Wegnia. 22/03/2013; Koulikoro; 3,900 ha; 13°18'00"N 008°07'46"W. Managed Resource Protected Area. Permanent freshwater lakes and marshes. This is a biodiversity rich area consisting mostly of Southern Sudanese Savannah vegetation including the IUCN Red-Listed Shea Butter Tree (Vitellaria paradoxa), small mammals and fishes. 2,750 plant species have been identified in the area, with several endemic species. It is a home for the Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus listed on Appendix 1 of CITES and a source of food and spawning ground for fishes. It supports several waterbirds such as the Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis, Abdim's Stork Ciconia abdimii, and the Grey Heron Ardea cinerea. Its main hydrological values include natural flood control, groundwater recharge, water retention and supply to surrounding wetlands, including the nearby Boucle du Baoulé Biosphere Reserve. The lake is of great cultural value and attracts local tourists from cities throughout the year. Main human activities include rice farming, forest exploitation, animal rearing, arboriculture and gardening. The site is threatened by poaching, overfishing, continuous deforestation, and poor agricultural techniques causing erosion and siltation. Ramsar site no. 2127. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Plaine Inondable du Sourou. 22/03/2013; Mopti; 56,500 ha; 13°21'39"N 003°27'19"W. A seasonal freshwater marsh formed from seasonal freshwater rivers and small permanent lakes, forming part of the Black Volta basin. This is a biodiversity rich area supporting several fish and bird species already decreasing in the Inner Niger Delta, such as the African bonytongue Heterotis niloticus, Senegal bichir Polypterus senegalus and Freshwater Rat-tail Gymnarchus niloticus. 20,978 individuals of 32 bird species were identified in 2009 with over 2% of the West African breeding population of the African Pygmy-goose Nettapus auritus and Purple Heron Ardea purpurea, and 22,000 bird individuals in 2011. The site also supports IUCN Red-Listed Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius and African Elephant Loxodonta africana. The rice fields are a good source of food and a spawning ground and nursery for fishes of the Sourou basin. It ensures general hydrological balance of the basin, flood control and groundwater recharge. The main human activities include rice farming, fishing, and wood harvesting. Ramsar site no. 2128. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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