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      Biosphere Reserve Information

Burkina Faso


  General Description   The Mare aux Hippopotames Biosphere Reserve is located about 60 km north of Bobo-Dioulasso in south-west Burkina Faso. It is known for its freshwater lake (‘mare’) with associated pools and marshes in the floodplain of the Volta Noire River as well as for its gallery forests. The site - also designated as Ramsar site - supports a rich mammal and bird fauna. More than 100 hippopotamus have been reported in the area. The vegetation of the area is composed of truly aquatic species, dense thickets of Ficus congoensis and Canthium cornelia, herbaceous plants, a well-developed gallery forest (composed of Berlinia grandiflora, Vitex doniana etc.), dense dry forest, and open dry forest/shrubby savanna.
People make their living mainly from fishing, stock raising, collection of fruits, honey and firewood and eco-tourism (about 1,000 visitors per year). Major threats to the core area, which also comprises sacred sites, are illicit poaching, grazing and bush fires. Research has been carried out on the impact of traditional stock raising, the aquatic vegetation, the dynamic of fish populations and the migrations of surrounding populations. Education programmes focus on the awareness of fishermen and assist traditional leaders to maintain sacred rituals and sites.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical dry or deciduous forest, freshwater lake
  Major habitats & land cover types   Open forest; gallery forest with Berlinia grandiflora, Ceiba pentandra, Cola cordifolia, Khaya senegalensis etc.; dry forest with Paullinia pinnata, Anogessius leiocarpus, Chlorophora excelsa, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Prosopis africana; lake (mare) with aquatic vegetation with Pistia stratioides, Eichornia natans, Trapa natans, Azola spp. etc.
  Location   11°30' to 11°45'N; 04°05' to 04°12'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   186,000
  Core area(s)   68,000
  Buffer zone(s)   90,000
  Transition area(s) when given   28,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +300 to +320
  Year designated   1977
  Administrative authorities   Ministère chargé de l'environnement Direction Régionale des Eaux et Forêts
  Brief description   Hydrology
Aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation
Dynamics of fish populations
Gallery forests
Medicinal and nutritional plants
Agro-forestry production
Impact of traditional stock raising
Water and diseases in the villages
Population cultural and traditional activities
The migration of surrounding populations
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Hydrology.
  Biodiversity   Arid/Semi-arid, fishes, forest systems, natural medicinal products, population genetics/population dynamics, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   Agroforestry, cultural aspects, human health, human migration/population exodus, livestock and related impacts/overgrazing, non-timber forest products/ntfp, traditional practices/ethnology/traditional knowledge.
  Integrated monitoring   Mapping, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address   Amadé Ouedraogo
Gestionnaire de la Réserve de Biosphère de la Mare aux Hippopotames
BP 858
 Bobo Dioulasso 01
Burkina Faso
  Telephone   (226) 20 98 50 50
(226) 70 25 37 13

Last updated: 27/02/2008

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