Chutes de la Saala

GUITIPA017
Chutes de la Saala

Country: Guinea

Administrative region: Labé (Prefecture)

Central co-ordinates: 11.29472 N, 12.51306 W

Area: 7km²

Qualifying IPA Criteria

A(i)Site contains one or more globally threatened species, A(iv)Site contains one or more range restricted endemic species that are potentially threatened, C(iii)Site contains nationally threatened or restricted habitat or vegetation types, AND/OR habitats that have severely declined in extent nationally

IPA assessment rationale

The Saala Waterfalls and rapids are one of the most important national sites for Podostemaceae including three threatened species. Other threatened rheophytic species include Eriocaulon sulanum.

Site description

Touristic waterfall site near to the town of Labé in the Fouta Djallon. There are numerous rocky rapids leading up to the main waterfall that have Podostemaceae present. The area around the waterfall site has a mixture of riverine forest and woodland species. The area at the base of the waterfall has denser riverine forest. There is a tourist camp present near the waterfall that is seldom used, but day tourists regularly visit.

Botanical significance

The rocks in the river are rich in Podostemaceae species endemic to Guinea. This family of plants is known to have species which are endemic to particular rivers or to specific points in a river. They require fast flowing clean water and do not tolerate pollution or silt in the water. All rapids and waterfalls in Guinea are threatened due to the expanding hydroelectric sector.

Habitat and geology

The underlying geology of the areas is Ordovician quartzite rich sandstone. Around the edge of the upper part of the river Saala, near the tourist village there is some riverine vegetation with Raphia sp., Pandanus candelabrum, Carapa procera, Heisteria parviflora and Gnidia foliosa. The rapids and waterfalls of the Saala River are the second richest in Guinea for Podostemaceae.

Conservation issues

There is a hydroelectric dam planned for this river, which if it goes ahead is likely to alter the flow of the river and thus negatively affect the populations of Podostemaceae. This has been seen at other hydroelectric dam sites e.g. Grandes Chutes near Kindia.
Litter from tourists is polluting the area both in and out of the water.
It is one of the major tourist attractions for the Fouta Djallon and should be given more protection.

Site assessor(s)

Martin Cheek, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Muhammad Yaya Diallo, Guinee Ecologie

Catherine Andre, Biotope

Charlotte Couch, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

IPA criterion A species

Species Qualifying sub-criterion ≥ 1% of global population ≥ 5% of national population 1 of 5 best sites nationally Entire global population Socio-economically important Abundance at site
Eriocaulon sulanum S.M.Phillips & Burgt A(i) True True True False False Scarce
Saxicolella futa Cheek A(iii) True True True False False Scarce
Macropodiella macrothyrsa (G.Taylor) C.Cusset A(i) True True True False False Frequent
Stonesia heterospathella G.Taylor A(i) True True True False False Frequent
Apodiscus chevalieri Hutch. A(i) True False False False False Scarce
Dissotis splendens A.Chev. & Jacq.-Fél. A(i) True True False False False Common

Eriocaulon sulanum S.M.Phillips & Burgt

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:
Scarce

Saxicolella futa Cheek

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(iii)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:
Scarce

Macropodiella macrothyrsa (G.Taylor) C.Cusset

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:
Frequent

Stonesia heterospathella G.Taylor

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:
Frequent

Apodiscus chevalieri Hutch.

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
False
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
False
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:
Scarce

Dissotis splendens A.Chev. & Jacq.-Fél.

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
False
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:
Common

IPA criterion C qualifying habitats

Habitat Qualifying sub-criterion ≥ 5% of national resource ≥ 10% of national resource 1 of 5 best sites nationally Areal coverage at site
Waterfalls and Rapids C(iii) False True True

Waterfalls and Rapids

Qualifying sub-criterion:
C(iii)
≥ 5% of national resource:
False
≥ 10% of national resource:
True
Areal coverage at site:

General site habitats

General site habitat Percent coverage Importance
Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers, Streams, Creeks [includes waterfalls] No value Major

Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers, Streams, Creeks [includes waterfalls]

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Major

Land use types

Land use type Percent coverage Importance
Tourism / Recreation No value Minor
Agriculture (pastoral) No value Unknown

Tourism / Recreation

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Minor

Agriculture (pastoral)

Percent coverage:
No value
Importance:
Unknown

Threats

Threat Severity Timing
Residential & commercial development - Tourism & recreation areas Medium Ongoing - stable
Biological resource use - Hunting & collecting terrestrial animals Low Ongoing - stable
Agriculture & aquaculture - Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Shifting agriculture Medium Ongoing - increasing
Energy production & mining - Renewable energy High Future - planned activity

Residential & commercial development - Tourism & recreation areas

Severity:
Medium
Timing:
Ongoing - stable

Biological resource use - Hunting & collecting terrestrial animals

Severity:
Low
Timing:
Ongoing - stable

Agriculture & aquaculture - Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Shifting agriculture

Severity:
Medium
Timing:
Ongoing - increasing

Energy production & mining - Renewable energy

Severity:
High
Timing:
Future - planned activity

Protected areas

Protected area name Protected area type Relationship with IPA Areal overlap
Saala Classified Forest protected/conservation area overlaps with IPA No value

Saala

Protected area type:
Classified Forest
Relationship with IPA:
protected/conservation area overlaps with IPA
Areal overlap:
No value

Conservation designation

Designation name Protected area Relationship with IPA Areal overlap
Chutes de Saala Important Bird Area protected/conservation area overlaps with IPA No value

Chutes de Saala

Protected area:
Important Bird Area
Relationship with IPA:
protected/conservation area overlaps with IPA
Areal overlap:
No value

Management type

Management type Description Year started Year finished
No management plan in place No value No value

No management plan in place

Year started:
No value
Year finished:
No value

Bibliography

Lisowski, S., 2009

Flore (Angiospermes) de la République de Guinée.

Couch, C., Magassouba, S., Rokni, S. & Cheek, M., 2018

Threatened plants species of Guinea-Conakry: A preliminary checklist

Peerj Preprints

BirdLife International, 2018

Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chutes de la Sala

Available online

Couch, C., 2016

TIPAs Guinea Darwin Project report: Field expedition to Fouta Djalon

Available online

Recommended citation

Martin Cheek, Muhammad Yaya Diallo, Catherine Andre, Charlotte Couch (2024) Tropical Important Plant Areas Explorer: Saala waterfalls (Guinea). https://tipas.kew.org/site/chutes-de-la-saala/ (Accessed on 21/05/2024)