Still no news of Blue44 whose satellite tracking device seems to be malfunctioning- we continue to hope he is alive and well, and that someone might spot his coloured leg ring and report it to us- we are appealing for anyone seeing ospreys in southern Europe or western Africa to keep a sharp eye out!
Meanwhile, Blue YD continues to do well, and has spent another week in his favourite area on the Mauritania / Senegal border. On the 18th December he went a little east close to the town of Podor, then turned south again and returned to his favorite loop of the Senegal river, near where it joins the river Doue, on the 22nd. He has spent the majority of time recently in this triangle between the three small villages of Pendao, Goumel and Doue, in the relatively fertile area of land between the two great river channels.
These rivers not only form of most of the border between these two countries but are the mainstay of the regions biodiversity and agriculture. Here is some more information about this river system:
The Senegal’s rivers headwaters are the Semefé (Bakoye) and Bafing rivers which both originate in Guinea. These form a small part of the Guinean-Malian border before coming together at Bafoulabé in Mali. From there, the Senegal river flows west and then north through Gorges and over the Gouina Falls, then past Kayes, where it receives the Kolimbiné. After flowing together with the Karakoro, it flows along the Mali-Mauritanian border till Bakel where it flows together with the Falémé River, and subsequently runs along a small part of the Guinea-Mali frontier to then trace most of the Senegal-Mali border up to Bakel
The Senegal river then flows through the semi-arid land in the north of Senegal, forming the border with Mauritania. In Kaedi it accepts the Gorgol from Mauritania
Downstream of Kaédi the river divides into two branches. The left branch called the Doué runs parallel to the main river to the north. After 200 km the two branches rejoin a few kilometres downstream of Pondor. The long strip of land between the two branches is called the Île á Morphil.
Flowing through Bogué it reaches Richard Toll where it is joined by the Ferlo coming from inland Senegal’s Lac de Guiers. It passes through Rosso and, approaching its mouth, around the Senegalese island on which the city of Saint-Louis is located, to then turn south. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a thin strip of sand called the Langue de Barbarie before it pours into the Atlantic ocean itself.
The river has two large dams along its course, the multi-purpose Manantali Dam in Mali and the Maka-Diama dam on the Mauritania-Senegal border, near the outlet to the sea, preventing access of salt water upstream.
The Senegal River has a drainage basin of 270,000 km2, a mean flow of 680 m3/s and an annual discharge of 21.5 km3. .
In 1972 Mali, Mauritania and Senegal founded the Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal (OMVS) to manage the river basin. Guinea joined in 2005.
At the present time, only very limited use is made of the river for the transport of goods and passengers.
The aquatic fauna in the Senegal River basin is moderately high ins species richness, but only three species of frogs and one fish are endemic to this ecoregion The area has suffered huge amounts of deforestation in recent decades.