Woodland and Grassland Habitats
Jinack Island in The Gambia offers a variety of woodland and grassland habitats that attract multiple bird species, making it an ideal location for birdwatching. The island’s geographical diversity and unspoiled beauty also provide unique opportunities for studying and researching other wildlife, flora, and fauna.
Relic patches of gallery forest can be found in the upper freshwater reaches of the bolongs. These forest patches resemble the Fathala forest in the adjacent Delta du Saloum National Park in terms of composition and structure. The most abundant woody species in these patches include Anthostema senegalensis and Dialium guineense. Other notable species found in these gallery forests are Khaya senegalensis, Detarium guineense, Alchorea cordifolia, and Afzelia africana. However, the forest on the Duniajoe Bolong has suffered degradation due to activities such as clearance for rice cultivation, selective felling, and fire damage.
Dry Woodland and Wooded Grassland
Woodland is characterized by a canopy cover of more than 40% and a height greater than 8 meters, while wooded grassland has a canopy cover of 10-40%. Within Niumi National Park, elevated land above the seasonally flooded areas and valley bottoms falls into one of these categories, except for some cleared agricultural land.
The dominant species found in these vegetation types include Parkia biglobosa, Daniellia oliveri, and Pterocarpus erinaceus. Shrubby species associated with these woodlands include Combretum nigricans, Dierostachys glomerata, Guiera senegensis, and Ziziphus mauritinia. In locations where there has been clearance for agriculture or frequent fire damage, these species become more dominant, resulting in bushland or thicket. Dense regeneration of Daniellia oliveri is often found in fallow agricultural land.
The understorey in both woodland and wooded grassland is dominated by the grass Andropogon gayanus, which can reach heights of over 2 meters. Other grass species that occur include Echinochloa colona and Chloris spp.
On Jinack Island and the sandier soils immediately east of the Niji Bolong, the woodland exhibits a higher presence of species such as Parinari macrophylla, Ficus spp, and Tamarindus indica. Maytenus senegalensis is also common in this type of woodland.
Gambia Bird Watching Holidays, Trips & Tours
For a brief outline of the birding and birdwatching opportunities available throughout the year, follow the provided link.