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Geography of Senegal

Nature

Terrain shapes and bedrock

According to COUNTRYAAH, Senegal is for the most part an even and low lying country which is part of a basin area, which extends from the north into Senegal. Exceptions include the Cape Verde Peninsula, which consists of a number of small plateaus with a bedrock of hard, volcanic rocks. Southeast Senegal is also highland with peaks of 400–500 m above sea level. This part is part of a mass with main distribution in Mali and Guinea.

Geography of Senegal

The coast of northern Senegal is smooth and sandy, in the south there are mangrove coasts with submerged valleys, so-called rias. Among the rivers, Senegal is the most important. It flows into the Fouta Djallon in Guinea and forms a border river in the north. Its slope in the lower part is so small that salt water can penetrate 200 km up the river. Other streams are Saloum, Gambia and Casamance.

The land cover in the river valleys is alluvial, near the coast saline or muddy.

Climate

Senegal's climate is determined by the country's location within the tropical zone. Impacting winds are partly the dry pass winds and partly damp winds from the high pressure over the sea to the west. Along the coast, winter is cool, 17 °C as the average temperature in January and 27 °C in the summer.

The interior of the country has in the northern rainy season July - October, which gives about 350 mm of rainfall. In the south, the climate is humid and hot, 24–38 °C, with a rainfall of up to 1,500 mm per year.

Plant Life

Northern Senegal belongs to the Sahel region and is dominated by open dryland forests of e.g. the genus Acacias, Balaniʹtes and Commiʹphora. Among the grass are a number of Ariʹstida species. In the Senegal River delta is salt steppe with half bushes from mållväxtsläktena Arthrocne'mum and Sa'lsola. To the south of the Sahel area are wilderness forests of silk cotton trees, Stercuʹlia and Combreʹtum species, and grasses of Andropoʹgon, Cymbopoʹgon and Hyparrheʹnia species, which belong to the Sudanic flora.

Farthest to the southwest there are foothills of the Guinean flora area, where lowland rainforests with species such as Parinaʹri exceʹlsa (the coconut plum family), Khaʹya senegaleʹnsis and Erythrophleʹum suaveʹolens (the pea family) alternate with secondary grasslands. Only in the southwestern corner of Senegal is mangrove vegetation, mainly red mangrove.

Wildlife

About 155 mammal species and 625 species of birds are known from Senegal. However, wildlife is partly poorly accessed due to human behavior. In the southeast, however, there are lions, leopards, African elephants, African buffalo and giant land. In the forest areas of southern Senegal there are some chimpanzee flocks. More prevalent are the red baboon (Paʹpio paʹpio), house monkey, green markata, ground pigs and several species of antelope. Hippopotamus, Senegal Manatee (Tricheʹchus senegaleʹnsis) and all three African crocodile species occur in Senegal.

Many northern birds, especially waders and ducks, winter or rest in the country during the spring and autumn migration. Many native birds include many birds of prey, pink-backed pelicans (Peleca rnus rufeʹscens), kingfishers, glossaries and weavers. Among the reptiles are rock python, king python, green mamba and mock cobra.

Nature conservation

In 2011, Senegal had six national parks as well as some major nature reserves. The largest national park is Niokolo Koba in the southeast, a savannah area with interesting plant and animal life.

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