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Three dead manatees found in Matam - North Senegal, Another blow from the Navel dam gates!


Dakar, Senegal - Three dead manatees were found last week in the waters of the Navel, a tributary to the north of the Senegal River near the bridge-dam erected by SAED.

According to witness accounts from the community and the regional water and forestry department’s report, the manatees carried by atypical strong currents likely violently slammed into the structure’s gates. This tragedy coming just one year after the rescue of five manatees in similar conditions re-launches the debate around the need for better integration of species’ migration, particularly the manatee, in the Senegal River valley. Following the manatee’s entrapment in December 2008, an agreement between SAED, regional technical services and Wetlands International Africa (WIA) anticipated lifting the gates, and obstacle to the manatee’s migration. Additionally in September 2009, WIA sent a letter recalling this agreement to SAED’s general director.
According to Dr Mamadou NIANE, Coordinator for WIA’s West African Manatee Conservation Project, “there is no longer a doubt that the northern region is an important zone for the West African Manatee’s movement; it is therefore essential to remove all obstacles to the species’ migration in order to avoid this type of tragedy from reoccurring. Particularly at this time, as several initiatives are being developed by OMVS (hydro-agricultural, navigational, etc.) to develop navigation on the Senegal River, the manatee’s future seems even particularly bleak. This reinforces Wetlands International Africa’s belief that wide consultation about the Senegal Basin is necessary. A date will soon be proposed for a consultation workshop for all partners interested in the species’ conservation.   
For additional information, contact Mamadou Niane, Manatee Project Coordinator – Wetlands International Africa (WIA) : ; phone:  00 221 869 16 81


Download the press release with the photos

Communications and Media Coordinator

Wetlands International Africa

Phone: +221 33 869 16 81


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