Chat Tboul

In the wilaya of the Trarza on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, 175 km south of Nouakchott, 70 km west of Rosso and about 15 km west of the Senegal River, the coastal lagoon of Chat Tboul lies along the Atlantic, immediately north of the Parc National du Diawling , around a former mouth of the Senegal river. It is formed by plains and deposits of clays and silt, and is surrounded by recent sand dunes.

Strong surges associated with high tides break over the barrier beach several times a year. That, and underground seepage continuously replenish the lagoon system with water.

Chat Tboul covers an area of 15,500 ha. It is the most important West African sub-Saharan habitat for large concentrations (more than 1 per cent of the world population) of specific groups of birds:

– up to 300 specimens of the Black-necked grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) are recorded here each year in January.
– Lesser Flamingo (Juvenile Phoeniconaias minor) have often been observed since 1998, confirming probable nesting of this species near Chat Tboul, the only colony of this species in West Africa.
– the Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei) (maximum 800), Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) (maximum 1500), the Greater Flamingo, (Phoenicopterus ruber )(maximum 2300) and Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)(maximum 5600).
– other bird concentrations significant to the area are the sterns Black tern (Chlidonias niger) (5000), and Sandwich terns (Sterna sandvicensis) (1200).

At Chat Tboul are floodplain woodlands of acacia, tamarisk, and grasses. Two types of mangroves have established, at least since 1960.

Chat Tboul Reserve is an area of the biosphere reserve that includes the national parks and reserves of 'Oiseaux de Djoudj' National Park (Senegal), and the Diawling National Park. There are some 375 000 inhabitants in this biosphere reserve belonging mainly to three ethnic groups: Wolofs, Moors and Peuls.

Ramsar site no. 1044.

The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Mauritania on 22 February 1983.
Mauritania presently has 3 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 1,231,100 hectares:
Banc d’Arguin, Parc National du Diawling  and Chat Tboul.

References: The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands http://www.ramsar.org/profile/profiles_mauritania.htm;


UNESCO MAB Biospheres Reserve Directory

Further Reading: IUCN Wetlands and Water Resources Programme http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/WTL-029.pdf