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 elsewhere in West Africa 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.
Criteria for inclusion as a World Heritage Site
|ix||To be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals.||All|
|x||To contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.||All|
About the source: UNESCO
Within UNESCO's broad remit, this specialised agency of the UN works towards international cooperation agreements to secure the world's cultural and natural heritage, designating venues of exceptional value as World Heritage Sites.