124 pages, Col photos, figs, tabs, maps
The west coast of Africa, from southern Senegal to Sierra Leone, is characterised by extensive mangrove vegetation, interspersed with rice-fields and tidal flats. Many millions of people live in this area and depend on its resources - rice, fish, wood etc. The region is of great biological importance, particularly since it harbours extensive wetlands that function as staging sites for Afro-tropical and migrating Palaearctic birds. Over the past decades, rainfall has been erratic and the severe droughts in the 1970s and 1980s impacted on the existing mangrove stands and rice fields. A change in land cover over time could also have occurred due to developments in management and the socio-economical framework. Such change potentially affects people and biodiversity. This report aims to quantify the availability of different wetland habitats for birds and the changes therein, over the past 15 to 20 years. Furthermore it investigates the composition of the bird populations in the different wetland types and identifies the threats to these systems.
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