Niokolo-Koba National Park World Heritage Site
Parc national du Niokolo-Koba, Senegal
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The Niokolo-Koba National Park (fr. Parc National du Niokolo Koba PNNK) is a World Heritage Site and natural protected area in south eastern Senegal near the Guinea-Bissau border.
Niokolo-Koba was declared a Senegalese national park on 1 January 1954, expanded in 1969, and it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1981 as a UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve. In 2007 it was added to the UNESCO List of Endangered World Heritage sites.[why?]
The park lies in an upland region through which the upper stretch of the Gambia River flows, towards the northwestern border of Guinea. The Biosphere park itself covers some 9,130 square kilometres, in a great arc running from Upper Casamance/Kolda Region at the Guinea-Bissau border into the Tambacounda Region to within a hundred kilometers of the Guinean border near the southeast corner of Senegal. Its altitude ranges from 16m to as high as 311m.
Most of the park is woodland savannah and semi-arid Soudanese forest, with large areas of wooded wetlands and seasonal wetlands. The park contains over 1500 species of plants and 78% of the gallery forest in Senegal.
The national park is known for its wildlife. The government of Senegal estimates the park contains 20 species of amphibian, 60 species of fish, 38 species of reptile (of which four are tortoises). There are some 80 mammal species. These included (as of 2005) an estimated 11000 buffalo, 6000 hippopotomii, 400 western giant eland, 50 elephants, 120 lions, 150 chimpanzees, 3000 waterbuck (kobus ellipsiprymnus), 2000 common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia), an unknown number of red colobus (Colobus badius rufomitratus) and a few rare leopards and african wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), although this canid is thought to be wiped out throughout the rest of the country.
Around 330 species of birds have been sighted in the park, notably the Arabian bustard, Black Crowned Crane, Southern Ground-hornbill (Bucorvus cafer), Martial Eagle, Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus), and White-faced Duck (Dendrocygna viduata).
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