The ecosystem in Senegal’s Djoudj National Park (PNOD) is seriously endangered. This World Heritage Site since 1981, is dangerously threatened by the spread of typha.
The ecosystem in Senegal’s Djoudj National Park (PNOD) is seriously under threat. First designated in the Ramsar List of internationally important wetlands in 1997 and thereafter designated as a World Heritage Site in 1981, the Djoudj National Park is currently dangerously threatened by the uncontrolled spread of typha. This invasive aquatic plant is growing in leaps and bounds despite efforts to stop it.
According to Colonel Ibrahima Diop, the custodian of this National Park, the presence of typha in the Senegal River Valley is not accidental. One main reason, according to him, is the downstream erection of the Diama dam which caused a rather permanent stay of fresh water. This has favored the appearance of invasive aquatic plants in the waterways. Therefore, the strong presence of these plants is a serious threat to biodiversity as they also become a major obstruction of waterways. As a result, navigation, patrolling and bird conservation and monitoring activities become very difficult.
As a custodian of the site, Colonel Diop expressed sadness to witness how the water spread is seriously threatened while shrinking day by day. Despite the looming threat to the Djoudj National Park, strategies are being implemented to save what is possible. "We have set up a management approach that will annually dry up to 96% of the park’s water from May to July. This system keeps alive all the different species that live there. But, despite these efforts the invasive plants continue to resist and increase," said Colonel Ibrahima Diop.
He expressed great concern about the fate of the site. "If nothing is done within 5 or 10 years, we will not talk anymore about the Djoudj National Park " he said, while appealing for action to partners, such as Wetlands International, who’s Board, recently visited the site.
Pape Diomaye THIARE
Communications and Media Coordinator
Wetlands International Africa
Phone: +221 33 869 16 81