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      Biosphere Reserve Information
     

Niger

AÏR ET TÉNÉRÉ

 
       
  General Description   Aïr et Ténéré Biosphere Reserve covers 24 million hectares in the north of Niger, in the Agadez region of the arid Saharan region. This area is one of the driest zones in the country and it encompasses two geographic regions. Aïr is a mountainous massif made of crystalline and volcanic rocks and was one of the first areas with metalworking by early mankind. Ténéré is made up of quaternary sands (fine alluviums, disc-shaped sands of aeolian origin and moving sand dunes).
Several species of primates, such as olive baboon (Papio anubis), patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas), Cape Dassie (Procavia capensis) and carnivores (caracal, hyena) are relict populations of the area which date from the humid period of the Holocene era. Other species are in a precarious situation due to low population numbers, such as Loder’s gazelle (Gazella leptoceros), Dama gazelle (Gazella dama), addax and ostrich. The flora comprises about 300 higher plants. The area is also renowned for its numerous archaeological and pre-historic sites, with rock engravings indicative of ancient human settlement.
Depending on the season, up to 39,000 inhabitants live within the biosphere reserve boundaries (1997), who are depending on camel and goat raising, agriculture, small businesses and handicrafts., Plundering of archaeological sites by tourists and poaching are two of the main problems the biosphere reserve is facing today. Management structures, development projects and participation mechanisms for local people have been developed during the ‘Projet de Conservation et de Gestion des Ressources Naturelles dans le Ténéré’ (1988-1992) which was carried out with support from the Swiss and Danish governments and the IUCN.
  Major ecosystem type   Warm deserts and semi-deserts
  Major habitats & land cover types   Warm desert communities with Saharan species such as Stipagrostis vulnerans, Cenchrus ciliaris, Tribulus longipetalus etc.; mountain desert communities with Cassia senna, Fagonia arabica and Citrullus colocynthis; mountainous communities with mediterranean species such as Rhus tripartita and tropical species such as Tamarindus indica, Anogeissus leiocarpus and Cymbopogon schoenanthus;
mountainous ravines with Ficus salicifolia, Olea laperrini, Rhus tripartita and Acacia laeta; wadi communities dominated by Acacia raddiana, A. ehrenbergiana, Maerua crassifolia and herbaceous species such as Aerva javanica, Schouwia thebaica, Panicum turgidum etc.
  Location   19°30'N; 8°30'E (central point)
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   24,400,070
  Core area(s)   928,300
  Buffer zone(s)   6,807,070
  Transition area(s) when given   16,664,700
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +441 to +2,022
  Year designated   1997
  Administrative authorities   Direction Faune Pêche et Pisciculture (DFPP), Ministère de l’Hydraulique et de l’Environnement


Last updated: 2/26/2002

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