Accueil Community nature reserve of palmarin
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Community nature reserve of palmarin

General characteristics
The Community Nature Reserve of Palmarin (RNCP) is part of the network of protected areas managed by the Department of Community Marine Protected Areas of Senegal. It was classified Community Nature Reserve by the decision n° 10 /CRP of the Rural Council issued on 15 May 2001, with the by-law n°0000347/MEPN of 27 January 2003, as a management instrument. It stretches over 10,340 ha and is located in the region of Fatick, Department of Fatick and Arrondissement of Fimela. Bordered in the North by the communes of Joal-Fadiouth and Fimela, in the South by the Saloum frith and the commune of Dionewar, in the West by the Atlantic Ocean, and in the East by the commune of Fimela, the Reserve is crossed by the road linking Joal to Djiffere and dividing it into two parts; a land part contouring the Rural Community and a maritime fringe stretching from Palmarin Faco to Joal. It boasts a rich and varied heritage owing to a combination of ocean frontage, inter-coastal mangrove channels and low salt concentration zones.

Objective of reserve creation
The main objective in the creation of the RNCP reserve is to establish a participatory mechanism for the conservation, restoration and sustainable beneficiation of the biodiversity, the natural and cultural landscapes. More specifically, it seeks to preserve the biological diversity and the characteristics of the natural and cultural local heritage; promote modes of beneficiation of natural resources compatible with biodiversity conservation objectives; foster the establishment of economic value chains based on the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage.

Representative habitats
The area is marked by a Sudano-Sahelian vegetation in its land part, and some bolongs bordered by mangrove forests in the estuarine part. The mudflats and water bodies represent wintering and feeding sites for a big colony of migratory birds flocking out of 12 European countries. It also provides home for a big population of sedentary birds observed all year long.

Main animal and plant species
The key or emblematic wildlife and flora species of the Community Nature Reserve are the following:
• Mammals: Striped hyena (Crocuta crocuta), Serval (Felis serval); white-tailed mongoose (Icheneumia albicauda), marsh mangoose (Atilax paludinosus), crawshay’s hare, golden jackal (Canis aureus), dolphins (Delphinus sp), etc.
• Reptiles: Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas); Nile monitor (Varlus niloticus), snakes, the African rock python (Python sebae), etc.
• Bids: Audouin’s gull (Larus audouini), Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus), Lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni), American Flamingo (Phoenicopteus rube), etc.
• Fish: Ethmalose (Etmalosa fimbriata), round sardinella (Sardinella aurita), Grouper (Epinephelus aenus), Trumpet fish (Fistullaria spp), Mullet (Mugil spp), mottled grouper (Muctèroperca rubra), etc.
• Flora: Mangrove (Rizophara magle, Rizophara racemoza, Avicenia africana) ; Apple tree of Cayor (Neocarya macrophyalla); Sweet Detar (Detarium senegalense) ; bombax (Ceiba pentandara) ; Oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) ; coconut tree (Cocos nucifera), etc.

Cultural values and economic activities
The RNCP Reserve hosts major historical and cultural sites symbolized by sacred woods, “Khoy” ceremonies, fetish trees and shell mounds. These sites are rich in history, as they are indicative of a relatively ancient human presence. The Reserve also boasts a rich cultural heritage that manifests itself through traditional wrestling bouts attracting the interest of people of all ages. These events are enlivened with traditional songs and dances that, depending on the gestures and melodies, have a specific significance.

The economic activities are essentially agriculture, livestock farming, tourism, salt processing, the exploitation of fishery and non-timber forest products, and craftsmanship (sculptures, weaving, dyeing, etc.).

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