The part of ‘W’ National Park that lies in Niger is situated in a transition zone between savannah and forest lands and represents important ecosystem characteristics of the West African Woodlands/Savannah Biogeographical Province. The site reflects the interaction between natural resources and humans since Neolithic times and illustrates the evolution of biodiversity in this zone.
In 2017, this site was extended and became known as W-Arly-Pendjari Complex. The new designation is: This transnational extension (Benin, Burkina Faso) to the W National Park of Niger, inscribed in 1996 on the World Heritage List, cover a major expanse of intact Sudano-Sahelian savannah, with vegetation types including grasslands, shrub lands, wooded savannah and extensive gallery forests. It includes the largest and most important continuum of terrestrial, semi-aquatic and aquatic ecosystems in the West African savannah belt. The property is a refuge for wildlife species that have disappeared or are highly threatened. It is home to the largest population of elephants in West Africa and most of the large mammals typical of the region, such as the African Manatee, cheetah, lion, and leopard. It also harbours the only viable population of lions in the region.
Unesco WHS list ref: 749
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