Saloum delta national park
Located in the Western part of Senegal, the Saloum Delta National Park (PNDS) was created in 1976 over 76,000 ha and is one of the key breeding sites for the Royal tern (Sterna maxima) with about 21,000 nests. The natural environment is characterized by: a coastal and marine fringe with a few islets and sand banks, an amphibious setting with 3 major groups of islets (180,000 ha): Fathala, Gandoune and Betenty, and a continental space composed of tannes, mangroves, open forests woody and shrubby savannas. The Park hes been classified Ramsar site since 1984, and is also one of the main component of the Biosphere Reserve of the same name.
Objectives of the Park’s creation
Protection of a representative sample of the delta zone with its mangrove settings, a maritime frontage, historic sites and natural resources specific to various environments.
Representative habitats and ecosystems
A great diversity of ecosystems are present in the PNDS Park, the most important one being the mangrove and estuaries. There are also some areas of dry forests, savannas, bolongs, tannes and a few islets.
A few mammals have been seen in the Park, notably the Colobus (Colobus badius temmincki). In its marine part, the Park hosts huge populations of emblematic marine species such as the manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) and the humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii). Reptiles are also well present, particularly sea turtles such as the Riddley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).
Cultural values and economic activities
The Park encompasses key historical sites including shell mounds; some varieties of dances and traditional wrestling are organized there by the populations living in the Biosphere reserve. Fishing, tourism and agriculture are the main economic activities carried out in the Park. Other activities include oyster collection and shell-based lime production.