W National Park

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W Transborder Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Mekrou river in W-National Park MS 6380.JPG
Mekrou River in the W-National Park
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LocationNiger-Burkina Faso-Benin
Nearest cityKandi (Benin), Diapaga (Burkina), Tapoa (Niger)
Area10,000 km²
EstablishedAugust 4, 1954
Governing bodyECOPAS, Governments of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Benin
Official nameW National Park of Niger
Criteriavii, ix, x
Designated1996 (20th session)
Reference no.749
State PartyNigeria

The W Regional Park is a major national park in West Africa. It is formed around a meander in the River Niger shaped like a "W". The park includes areas of the three countries Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso.

The W National Park of Niger was formed by decree on 4 August 1954. In 1996 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bends in the River Niger which give W National Park its name.

In the three nations, the Regional park covers about 10,000 km². Almost no people live in this area.

Fauna[change | change source]

The park is known for its large mammals, including aardvarks, baboons, buffalo, caracal, cheetahs, elephants, hippopotamuses, leopards, lions, serval and warthogs. The park has a home for some of West Africa's last wild African Elephants. The W Park used to have packs of the endangered Painted Hunting Dog. The National Park is one of the last strongholds for the Northwest African cheetah. There is a small but increasing population of at least 15-25 animals of this rare cat in the park.[1]

The W area is also known for its bird populations. There are over 350 species identified in the park.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Belbachir, F. (2008). Acinonyx jubatus ssp. hecki. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2008. Retrieved on 4 February 2009.
  2. United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (Content Partner); Mark McGinley (Topic Editor). 2009. "'W' National Park, Niger." In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). online

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to W National Park at Wikimedia Commons