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General characteristics

The Reserve of the Tanji and Bijol Island banks was created in 1993 and streches over 612 ha. It is located alongside the Atalntic coast, at the south of the Gambia River and encompasses the Tanji River and its esturary, and the Bijol Island, the only island located off of the coats of the Gambia. This Reserve is a major site for migratory bird species.

Objectives of the creation

This Reserve has been created to preserve the biodiversity in the area, with the involvement of riparian populations in the site management, the promotion of alternative sources of income to the benefit of local communities.

Representatuive habitats and ecosystems
The Reserve is mainly characterised by the presence of the Bijol Island; it also presents various characteristic ecosystems of mangroves, estuaries, coastal dunes and savannas. The Bijol Island represents an egg-laying site for sea turtles and an important reproduction site for many bird species.

Main species
About 295 bird species of 65 different families have been identified in the Reserve. The Bijol Island is an egg-laying site for many species such as the terns, the goelands and the gulls. The Reserve is regularly visited by humpback dolpins (Souza teuzsii), otters and green sea turtles (Chelonuia mydas). The terrestrial mammal species present in the area include the colobus (Pilicolobus badius temminckii), the Patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas), the spotted hyenas (Crcouta crocuta), and the Bushbuck (Tragelaphus s. scriptus).

Cultural values and economic activities
The communities living inside and in the vicinity of this Reserve are generally active in fishing and farming. Fuel wood and honey collection are also some complementary activities. The Reserve is a cultural sanctuary as it mainly hosts circumcision ceremonies and various other rites.

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