Status and Trends of Biodiversity
Located in the south of the Sahara Desert, Mali is characterized by high temperatures and generally low rains (1200mm in the south and almost 0mm in the north of the country). The presence of large rivers like the Niger and the Senegal, as well as mountain massifs and other types of ecosystems, accounts for the existence of various biological activities. The country has identified 1739 species of plants, 136 mammal species, 640 bird species (15% considered rare), and 143 fish species. Attention needs to be drawn to the Plateau Mandingue, the Haut Bani Niger, the Delta Central du Niger, the Gourma, and the Adrar des Ifoghas, which constitute areas of great importance in regard to biodiversity. Moreover, Mali is an important domestication center for cultivated plants, such as rice, corn, sugar cane, and sorgho. Human activities, such as forest clearance, overgrazing, poaching, overfishing, bush fires, chemical fights against parasitic diseases, and use of chemical fertilizers are threatening the country’s biodiversity. The lack of awareness regarding environmental protection and the significant increase of population are adding to this difficult situation.