On 31 January 2011, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property. The report provides general guidelines relating to the populations of migratory and resident birds, the hydrological condition of the Park, the improved performance of management tools, the control of invasive plant species, the development of technical and tourist facilities, the sustainable management of natural resources, and the promotion of income-generating activities.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recall that the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2000 because of increasing problems with the invasive Salvinia molesta species blocking the open water channels in the property, thereby threatening the waterfowl populations. In addition, the construction of the Dama dam had permanently halted infiltration of salt water into the property, thus altering the hydrology. This further enabled the spread of invasive species and reduced food availability for birdlife. Hydrological changes led to the soils salinity due to the lack of flushing, reduced water levels, decrease in colonies of certain species of birds and the disappearance of some others. The property was removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2006, as the Salvinia molesta problem was mastered by biological control, and following the establishment of a water management system and a conservation action plan and the restoration of the ecological characteristics of the property.
a) Trends of the resident and migratory bird populations
The State Party recalls that the Senegal River Delta is a site where the annual international count of waterfowl has been regularly performed from 1989 to 2010 (last count was held 15 January 2010). It reports that: (i) the colony of white pelicans remains stable and reproduction has been relatively successful due to improvements made to the nesting site, and to the surveillance and proper management of water bodies, (ii) 17 species of anatidae are regularly counted during the winter season, totalling more than 500,000 individuals (2000), mainly concentrated in the Djoudj National Park Bird Sanctuary, and (iii) the most abundant wintering waterfowl are the Summer Teal, Pintails and Whistling Ducks. The State Party also recalls that the Sanctuary works in tandem with the Diawling National Park in Mauritania, which is contiguous with the property, and that periodic fluctuations noted in one of the sites are thus partially offset by increased numbers in the other.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the report of the State Party does not provide information on trends of resident and migratory bird populations, as requested by the Committee in its Decision 33 COM 7B.4. The data provided dates from 2000. They encourage the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with detailed data on bird population trends in the Sanctuary between 1989 and 2010, and to ensure that the monitoring programme for birds and other wildlife take account of the conservation status of the outstanding universal value of the property.
b) The hydrological status of the property
The State Party notes that during the 2009-2010 season, the water level in the bodies of water was relatively sufficient, allowing for the stationing of migratory birds, especially ducks. The report indicates that the water level is regularly monitored by gauge scales, and that the proliferation of aquatic plants in the Park is controlled via a system for lowering and raising the water level of the water bodies, which increases the salinity, thereby periodically eliminating this vegetation. In addition, some channels are cleaned manually with the help of the local population. The Programme for the Integrated Management of Coastal and Marine Resources (GIRMAC) also participated in the clean-up operations of the hydraulic channels, which has improved the water flow of the Park.
c) Progress in implementing the Action Plan, including ongoing ecological activities of restoration and monitoring
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the report does not provide a detailed assessment of progress made in implementing the 2006-2008 Action Plan. However, the report notes some progress in the strengthening of management tools, controlling invasive plant species, the development of technical and tourist facilities, the sustainable management of natural resources and the promotion of income-generating activities. Some important results are the finalization and validation of the 2010-2014 Management Plan, the ongoing work of controlling Tamarix senegalensis and Typha autralis, regular maintenance of the nesting sites of the white pelican, reinforcement of the dams on the Gorom River and the efforts towards better management of the flow of water into this part of the Park.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN regret that the State Party’s report does not provide a detailed evaluation and accurate information on the evolution trends of the bird populations, and on progress made in the implementation of the 2006-2008 Action Plan and its impact on the rehabilitation of the outstanding universal value. In addition, pressures on the property, especially livestock grazing within the property, and threats posed by invasive plant species will require ongoing management.