The W National Park (French: "W" du Niger) is a major national park in Niger around a meander in the Niger River shaped like a "W," hence its name. While the greatest area of the park is in Niger it also extends through the extreme northern section of Benin (1,938 sq mi or 5,020 sq km) and into Burkina Faso (733 sq mi or 1,901 sq km). The area was declared a faunal reserve and state forest in 1953 and designated a national park on August 4, 1954. In 1996 an 850 square mile section of the park lying within Niger, between Sudan and Guinea Savannas, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
W National Park contains important areas of high biodiversity and significant natural habitats for threatened species. It is home to major populations of hoofed mammals (ungulates) and wild plant species, valuable to both conservation and genetic research. The wetland area of the Park is of international importance for the conservation of birds as a Ramsar site.2
The considerable hydrological resources found in W National Park has earned its listing under the Ramsar Convention, which provides for international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
The rugged landscape consists of gallery forests, rivers, ponds, meadows and floodplains, with widespread shrub savanna, crucial to the populations of African Elephant and the Cheetah. Other animal populations include aardvarks, antelopes, baboons, buffalo, caracal, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, leopards, lions, monkeys serval and warthogs. There are many species of snakes, including pythons and puff adders.
Significant numbers of waterbirds have been recorded. Birdlife includes guinea fowl, wild duck, and partridge, as well as many tropical species.
African Bush Elephant
- ↑ National Park of Pendjari, Pendjari Park Retrieved June 17, 2008.
- ↑ UNESCO, World Heritage Nomination Retrieved June 17, 2008.
- BirdLife International. Pendjari National Park Retrieved June 17, 2008.
- Brechin, Steven R. 2003. Contested nature: promoting international biodiversity with social justice in the twenty-first century. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 9780791457764
- Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Benin's new Wetlands of International Importance Retrieved June 17, 2008.
- Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. 2005. Success stories in implementation of the programmes of work on dry and sub-humid lands and the global taxonomy initiative abstracts of poster presentations at the 11th meeting of the subsidiary body on scientific, technical and technological advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Montreal: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. ISBN 9789292250355
- UNESCO. World Heritage Nomination Retrieved June 17, 2008.