Langue de Barbarie.

The National Park ‘Langue de Barbarie’ is situated in the South of Saint-Louis, and covers the region of the estuary of the river, the Senegal. Until 2003, the river flowed parallel with the ocean on a length of about 30 kilometers; between the ocean and the river was a piece of land of 400 meters wide at the most. On this land a lot of fish-hawks from Northern Europe come to hibernate. The Park is also very important for a lot of other species of birds, like the sea-swallows, the stilt-walkers and pelicans, but also for 4 species of sea-turtles, who make their nest on the ‘Langue’ once a year, and for the monitor lizards.

In 2003 however a breach has been opened in the Langue, South of Saint-Louis and North of the National Park. First, the breach was 5 meters wide, and meant to protect the old part of the town of Saint-Louis, which is situated on an island in the river, and also to create a shorter way to the ocean, for the fishermen. Today the breach has a width of 5 kilometers. When the breach was realised, the force of the ocean water had not been taken into account. This way, a new system of currents was created; today, the original estuary of the river is completely bogged down, and the Langue is more and more prey to the ocean, from the southern direction. From the North, the Langue is growing again, but not at the same pace. This means that the villages in the back are more and more at risk to floods. And local fishermen,with their small boats ( pirogues ) are no match for the strong waves of the ocean. And in the river the quantity of fish has diminished.

The ecosystem of the National Park ‘ Langue de Barbarie ‘ is changing quickly today. The plans of the administration are not tuned anymore to the actual situation.

The ecosystem of the National Park ‘ Langue de Barbarie ‘ is changing quickly today. The plans of the administration are not tuned anymore to the actual situation.

The Non Profit Organisation Tougoupeul has received a contract for two years from the Senegalese government to revise the plans of administration for the National Park ‘Langue de Barbarie’. But a plan without precise information is no plan, so, from November on we are starting with the monitoring work. We are sending 2 Spanish biologists to the Langue in order to help the local Park guards with the monitoring: how, where and when the birds must be counted, etc. The data are digitalized, and especially, we teach the local staff members of the Park how to enter the data and how to analyse them.

Once the data are entered and analysed, the target groups are defined ( plants and animals ). Depending on these target groups, action plans are made up, and the National Park can start a new future.

The local inhabitants are, of course, involved in this project; without them there is no basis to realize this project.




Thanks to our sponsors: