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Biodiversity

Lovers of nature will be truly satisfied by the Pointe Saint-Georges and the Petit Kassa, as both sites are extremely rich in fauna and flora.

At Pointe Saint-Georges: forest, paddy fields, savannah, the river and sea cows

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Sea cows come to shallow freshwater areas every day. (Copyright: Hellio & Van Ingen)

The ICCA at Pointe Saint-Georges is located on a peninsula, north of the village of Mlomp Kassa in the lower Casamance. Just over half of the study area is flooded, covered by small channels, and consists of both mangrove stands/forests and a high proportion of mudflats and salt flats. The remaining land is situated above water. These latter areas consist of sandy terraces, mainly composed of woodlands and forest cords. Low areas are covered with expansive rice fields. Freshwater flows encircle terraces where manatees come to soak.

Poor soil conditions have consequences for the flora, which is less diverse than that on the continental shelf. On the other hand, it is relatively better preserved. Indeed, human pressure is lower because certain areas enjoy traditional protection. Other areas are only scarcely populated. A forest stretches out a six kilometre cord west of the village of Pointe Saint-Georges (Forest Kanoufa), which hosts rich and diverse flora and fauna. Remarkable species can be found there.

The Petit Kassa: a regional example for preservation

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Although hidden in the mangroves, you may spot a Nile crocodile. (Copyright: Maxime Le Hégarat)

The ICCA of Petit Kassa, although very close, is located on a completely different site. Its location in the estuary of the Casamance links it to the biological balance of the Lower Casamance. Its isolation as an island led it to develop a high degree of biodiversity. Its protection reveals a strong regional practice of preservation: the small population of Kassa inherited an environment in good condition, which they have always used according to their needs.

The Petit Kassa, characterised by its omnipresent mangroves, represents its own unique eco system, although it is a part of a bigger ecological context that stretches over the sea and the continental plateau.
Within this natural region, two natural environments are intertwined. One is the sedimentary zone (flooded), the other one consists of terraces (above the water level).

As the soil (and particularly the terraces) has been formed quite recently, plant and tree species face constraints that affect their diversity. On the other hand, the flat topography generally benefits biodiversity. The proximity to the ocean leads to a somewhat different climate from that of areas further inland; for example, there are fresher and stronger winds. The isolation of the archipelago, which is in many areas uninhabited and quiet, makes it a suitable area for many birds and other animals. Even Nile crocodiles can be found there.

Learn more about eco-tourism:
on the website of the Tourism Office of the Casamance :
http://www.casamance-tourisme.sn/?-Ecotourisme-voyage-au-coeur-d-une-&lang=fr

Ensemble, protégeons notre planète !