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West Africa Studies

Several projects have been executed under the headings mentioned before. All field studies focused on West Africa, and more in particular its Atlantic coastal zone and the western Sahel. A&W deploys these activities since the late 1980s, under the notion that the A&W founders and several staff members have gathered expertise in West and North Africa since 1973. A&W projects carried out so far in West Africa and elsewhere on this continent are listed hereafter. This work has been executed in close cooperation with Wetlands International, IUCN and local authorities.

2005-2010
Continuation of waterbird monitoring in the Inner Niger Delta, through waterbird counts in January-February, in the central area (Debo, Korientzé), and population size assessment of flood forest breeding species in November 2008. As done before, these surveys have been carried out in cooperation with Wetlands International Sévaré in Mali.

Black-tailed Godwit monitoring on the West African coast has been executed in a common approach by Altenburg & Wymenga, the University of Groningen and Wetlands International in Senegal and Guinea Bissau. Thanks to several Dutch funding resources -Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, BirdLife, Alterra Wageningen, Natuurmonumenten and Provinsje Fryslân- surveys have been carried out in the Senegal River Basin (July-August 2006), on the Atlantic coast between Guinea and Mauritania (December-January 2005-06), and in Guinea Bissau and southern Senegal (August-September 2008, 2009; December 2009).

Results of all studies mentioned above and done before have crystallized in the book Living on the Edge - Wetlands and birds in a changing Sahel. This book was presented in 2009 and received very good reviews.
Documents:
Kuijper, D. P. J., E. Wymenga, J. van der Kamp & D. Tanger (eds.) 2006. Wintering areas and spring migration of the Black-tailed Godwit: bottlenecks and protection along the migration route. Veenwouden, Altenburg & Wymenga.
Van der Kamp, J., I. Ndiaye & B. Fofana 2006. Post-breeding exploitation of rice habitats in West Africa by migrating Black-tailed Godwit. Veenwouden: Altenburg & Wymenga ecological consultants.
Van der Kamp, J., D. Kleijn, I. Ndiaye, S. I. Sylla & L. Zwarts 2008. Rice farming and Black-tailed Godwits in the Casamance, Senegal. Veenwouden: Altenburg & Wymenga ecological consultants. Veenwouden.
Kleijn, D., J. van der Kamp, H. Monteiro, I. Ndiaye, E. Wymenga & L.  Zwarts 2009. Habitat use and hunting-related mortality of Black-tailed Godwits in West African winter staging areas. Alterra, Wageningen, Pays-Bas.
Zwarts, L., R. G. Bijlsma, J. van der Kamp & E. Wymenga 2009. Living on the edge: Wetlands and birds in a changing Sahel. KNNV Publishing, Zeist, Pays-Bas.
Hooijmeijer, J., J. van der Kamp, H. Monteiro & L. Zwarts 2010. Grutto’s in Bissau; december 2009. Interne rapportage.

2004 2006
We applied the bird density count system, initially used in the Inner Niger Delta, to the rice-growing area of the West African coastal zone. This has been done during a project in the Rice and Mangrove Ecoregion comprising the West African Atlantic coast between the Sine Saloum Delta (Senegal) and Freetown (Sierra Leone). The study focused, on the one hand, on the actual state of wetlands (rice fields included) in Guinea Bissau and the changes in these habitats over the latest decades, and on the other hand on quantification of wetland availability for waterbirds. The project has been executed in cooperation with Wetlands International – West Africa Program (Dakar) and the Danube Delta National Institute (Tulcea, Roumania).
Documents:
Bos, D., I. Grigoras & A. Ndiaye 2006. Land cover and avian biodiversity in rice fields and mangroves of West Africa. Rapport A&W 824. Altenburg & Wymenga Bureau d’études écologiques, Veenwouden, Pays-Bas; Wetlands International, Dakar.
Bruinzeel, L. W., Kamp van der, J., Diop Ndiaye, M. D. and Wymenga, E. 2006. Avian biodiversity of invasive Typha vegetation. A pilot study on species and their densities on the Senegal Delta. - A&W-rapport, Altenburg & Wymenga, Veenwouden / Wetlands International, Dakar.
Bamba FATOGOMA, Dansoko FAMOUSSABA Daniel, E. WYMENGA, L. BRUINZEEL & M. DIALLO 2006. Stratégie pour le Développement de Systèmes de Passage des Poissons à travers les barrages. Wetlands International, Sévaré, Mali.
Study parallel to this program (non-A&W) :
Duarte, A. A. 2006. Socioeconomical Study (Estudo Sócio-Económico) of Mansoa and Surrounding areas. Wetlands International Bissau, June 2006.

In 2005 the status of the IND flood forests was renewed through a dry season terrestrial survey and a count of waterbirds breeding in these forests during the yearly flood. The dry season terrestrial inventory was done by Alterra - The Netherlands and Wetlands International Sévaré - Mali, and the bird count at high water by Altenburg & Wymenga ecological consultants  and Alterra - The Netherlands, and Wetlands International Sévaré. The study was financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (The Netherlands)
Documents:
Beintema, A. J., B. Fofana, A. Faye & H. P. J. Huiskes 2005. Flood forests of the Inner Niger Delta, Mali. Rapport Alterra 1316. Wetlands International Sévaré/UICN Bamako/Alterra Green World Research, Wageningen.
Beintema, A. J., J. van der Kamp & B. Kone (éds.) 2007. Les forêts inondées: trésors du Delta Intérieur du Niger au Mali. Rapport A&W 964. Altenburg & Wymenga conseillers écologiques, Veenwouden; Wetlands International, Sévaré. Pays-Bas/Mali.

2002 – 2004
Socio-economic and ecological studies during these years were financed by the Netherlands and executed in the framework of the Partners for Water Program, covering the sub-programs Water & Ecosystems and Water for Food, and of the PREM Program of the Ministry of International Cooperation. These interconnected programs comprised studies on integrated water management in the Upper Niger River (RIZA, The Netherlands), drawing up a water balance model (National Hydraulics Direction Mali, Danube Delta National Institute Roumania, WL/Delft Hydraulics The Netherlands), and analysis of the ecological balance against the background of human-made fluvial infrastructures (Wetlands International, A&W). 
Documents:
Kamp, J. van der, M. Diallo & B. Fofana 2005. Ecological valuation of human-made and floodplain habitats in the upper Niger Basin, Mali. Rapport A&W 676. Altenburg & Wymenga conseillers écologiques, Veenwouden/ Wetlands International Sévaré.
Zwarts, L., P. van Beukering, B. Kone & E. Wymenga (eds.) 2005. Le Niger, une artère vitale. Gestion efficace de l’eau dans le Bassin du Haut Niger. RIZA, Lelystad/ Wetlands International, Sévaré/ Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Amsterdam/A&W conseillers écologiques, Veenwouden. Mali/ Pays-Bas.

1998 – 2001                                                                                                                                                      
Long-term waterbird monitoring based on systematic monthly counts in the Inner Niger Delta in Mali. Sustainable management of the delta can only be effectuated with reliable socio-economic and ecological statistics at hand. Being terra incognita, ecologically, A&W provided year-round basic data on waterbirds for this huge floodplain, where only some aerial Anatidae (ducks and geese) counts in January had been carried out during the last decades. Malian personnel of our Wetlands International partner was trained in the planning of field missions, and in waterbird species identification and counting techniques. This program, financed by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, has been connected to two more projects, also funded by The Netherlands (see hereafter).
Documents:
Zwarts, L., M. Diallo, A. Maiga & J. van der Kamp 1999. The distribution and biomass of benthic bivalve species on the floodplains around Lac Débo in February-March 1999. Mali-PIN publication 99-01. Wetlands International, Sévaré (Mali)/ RIZA-Rijkswaterstaat, Lelystad Altenburg & Wymenga, Veenwouden (Pays-Bas).
Kamp, J. van der, M. Diallo 1999. Suivi écologique du Delta Intérieur du Niger: les oiseaux d’eau comme bio-indicateurs. Recensements crue 1998-1999. Mali-PIN publication 99-02. Wetlands International, Sévaré (Mali)/ Altenburg & Wymenga, Veenwouden (Pays-Bas).
Kone, B. 2001. Organisations socio-économiques dans les villages partenaires de Wetlands International dans le Delta Intérieur du Niger (Mali). Mali-PIN publication 00-02. Wetlands International, Sévaré (Mali)/ Altenburg & Wymenga, Veenwouden (Pays-Bas).
Diallo, M., B. Fofana & J. van der Kamp 2002. Suivi de populations d’oiseaux d’eau dans le Delta Intérieur du fleuve Niger. Apercu des données de base 1998-2002. Mali-PIN publication 02-02. Wetlands International, Sévaré (Mali)/ Altenburg & Wymenga, Veenwouden (Pays-Bas).
Diarra, A.M. & M. Diallo 2002. Liste des infrastructures realisés sur le fleuve Niger. Mali-PIN publication 03-03. Wetlands International, Sévaré (Mali)/ Altenburg & Wymenga, Veenwouden (Pays-Bas).
Wymenga, E., B. Kone, J. van der Kamp & L. Zwarts 2002. Delta Intérieur du Niger. Ecologie et gestion durable des ressources naturelles. Mali-PIN publication 2002-01. Wetlands International, Sévaré/ RIZA-Rijkswaterstaat, Lelystad/ Altenburg & Wymenga conseillers écologiques, Veenwouden.
Zwarts, L. I. Grigoras & W. Dubbeldam 2003. A digital flooding model of the Inner Niger Delta. A first analysis of remote sensing data. Mali-PIN publication 2003-01. Wetlands International, Sévaré/ RIZA-Rijkswaterstaat, Lelystad.

1988 – 1998
In January-February 1988 (dry season), December-February 1989-90 and July-August 1990 (rainy season) an assessment study on the ornithological value of coastal Guinea was carried out, in order to create Ramsar Sites being sites with an international protection status. This study resulted in the designation of five Ramsar Sites where so far unknown strongholds of a.o. Lesser Flamingos, Avocets and African Skimmers were established. The coastal surveys were funded by ICBP (International Council for Bird Preservation).
Documents:                                                                                                                                                                  
Altenburg, W. & J. van der Kamp 1989. Etude ornithologique préliminaire de la zone côtière du nord-ouest de la Guinée. Rapport Conjoint WIWO/CIPO. WIWO rapport 23/CIPO rapport 30. Zeist, Pays Bas et Cambridge, Royaume-Uni.
Altenburg, W. & J. van der Kamp 1991. Ornithological importance of coastal wetlands in Guinea. ICBP study report 47 / WIWO report 35, Cambridge/Zeist.