Accueil Banc d’arguin national park
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Banc d’arguin national park

General characteristics
With a surface area of 1,170,000 ha, the Banc d’Arguin National Park (PNBA) lies in the Mauritanian littoral and is the biggest marine protected areas in West Africa. Created in 1976, the PNBA Park represents the most important refuge on the West African coasts for Western Palearctic birds and is mainly characterized by one of the greatest concentrations of shorebirds in the winter around the world. The PNBA Park is classified on the list of World Heritage sites and has been declared a Gift to the Earth.

Objectives of the park’s creation
Maintaining the integrity and productivity of Banc d’Arguin; protecting and conserving the land, marine and insular ecosystems; preserving endangered species including migratory species; and contributing to the harmonious development of riparian populations.

Representative habitats and ecosystems
Composed of a desert area on half of its expanse, the PNBA Park also has some major sandbanks very characteristic of the channels, mudflats, grass beds, rocky areas, sand beaches etc. The Park also hosts the Tidra Island, the northernmost formation of white mangroves (Avicennia africana) in the African coasts.

Main species
Apart from the fact that it represents one of the top breeding sites for migratory birds, with colonial species such as Phoenicopterus flamengos, Platalea spoonbills, Ardea herons, Phalacrocorax cormorants, terns, Larus goelands, etc. the Park boasts a rich and diversified marine fauna. It provides home for sea turtles, with the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) being the most abundant species, sea mammals such as the bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates), the humpback dolphins (Souza teuszii) and the killer whales (Orcinus orca), and about 140 fish species. The scanty land fauna is essentially composed of Dorcas gazelles (Gazella dorcas), striped hyenas (Hyaena hyaena) and golden jackals (Canis aureus).

Cultural values and economic activities
The indigenous Imraguen population living on the Park’s land area is essentially active in traditional fishing on bord typical sail boats called “lanches”. Besides, other activities have been identified on the site including pastoralism, trade and ecoutourism.

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