Background: The National Park of Banc d’Arguin (PNBA, Mauritania) was founded in 1976 to preserve the largest West African wintering area for shorebirds. In the face of increasing pressures, the PNBA’s authorities have launched an appeal to determine the park’s socio-economic value to adjust its management plan better.
Methods: In this context, we have created an exhaustive inventory of known characteristics of bird species present in the PNBA to investigate their potential in terms of ecosystem services for local populations. Two regulating and supporting services were also valued based on data availability: nutrients input and carcasses removal.
Results: We found that 53% of the 233 bird species associated with the PNBA are highly dependent on the park and its coastal and marine ecosystems for their life cycle. We were also able to identify services with a high potential for the park, such as nutrient cycling and bird-watching. We finally valued nutrients input and carcasses removal at € 1.8 to € 133.7 million/year and € 2900 to € 4800/year, respectively.
Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of protecting the PNBA’s birds beyond the sole ornithological interest behind its creation and reinforces the argument about the importance of this protected area in terms of conservation.
- land-sea interface
- protected area management