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|The Bijagós Archipelago: a key area for waterbirds of the East Atlantic Flyway|
Henriques, M.; Belo, J.R.; Sá, J.; Monteiro, H.; Alves, J.A.; Piersma, T.; Dodman, T.; van Roomen, M. (2022). The Bijagós Archipelago: a key area for waterbirds of the East Atlantic Flyway, in: Van Roomen, M. et al. East Atlantic Flyway Assessment 2020.The status of coastal waterbird populations and their sites.. pp. 81-93
In: Van Roomen, M. et al. (2022). East Atlantic Flyway Assessment 2020.The status of coastal waterbird populations and their sites. Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative: Wilhelmshaven. 256 pp., meer
|Auteurs|| || Top |
- Henriques, M.
- Belo, J.R.
- Sá, J.
- Monteiro, H.
- Alves, J.A.
- Piersma, T., meer
- Dodman, T.
- van Roomen, M.
The Bijagós Archipelago is a group of 88 islands and isletsoff the coast of Guinea-Bissau in W Africa. It is a site withan undisputable ecological value, recognized nationally bythe implementation of three marine protected areas, andinternationally by its classification as a Biosphere Reserveand Ramsar Site. Its relatively pristine ecosystem mostlyarises from local community cultural traits that have limitedthe overexploitation of resources until recently.Among the diverse set of habitats, its extensive mangroveforests, totalling 524 km2, cover c. 30% of the area of thearchipelago, and provide crucial ecosystem services,including nursery for several fish species, safe roostingareas for waterbirds, and organic matter input to adjacenthabitats. The Bijagós Archipelago also features ca. 450 km2of intertidal flats, among the largest in the world, whichsustain highly diverse benthic communities. This site holdsan important part of the regional populations of severalwaterbird species, especially migratory shorebirds. It is thethird most important site on the East Atlantic Flyway forPalearctic migratory shorebirds during their non-breedingperiod, and second in Africa, after the Banc d’Arguin inMauritania. Nevertheless, very steep declines in mostshorebird species are being observed in the Bijagós Archipelago,in accordance with overall declines along the flyway,and in other important sites like the Banc d’Arguin.The reasons for these declines are not fully known. Conservation,research and monitoring efforts have beenincreasing in the area, in an attempt to gather baselineknowledge on different aspects of relevance to waterbirds,their habitats and the ecological processes theydepend upon, ultimately aiming at protecting the extraordinarybiodiversity value of the Bijagós Archipelago.