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Location Algeria, El Tarf
Central coordinates 8o 2.00' East  36o 34.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 3,000 ha
Altitude 170 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description The site lies c.35 km south-east of Annaba, 170 m above sea-level. It consists of an artificial reservoir created by a dam across the Oued Bou Namoussa, in the hills about 20 km above the entry of the Oued to the alluvial flood-plain of Marais de Mekhada (site DZ006). The water reaches a maximum depth of 20 m and a maximum area of 30 km² (at capacity), and the reservoir is devoid of rooted vegetation because of the large, rapid fluctuations in water-level.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The site acts as an important daytime roost and refuge for wintering waterbirds that feed in other wetlands, particularly when hunting disturbs other sites. More than 20,000 waterbirds have been recorded at this site, with an estimated total of 100,000 birds in 1974 (95,000 of which were Anas penelope) and other large counts of ducks including up to 20,000 A. penelope and 18,000 A. acuta (no information on years) and 11,000 A. crecca in 1981. The precise relationship between this site and hunting pressure on other sites is not clear, but the site is thought to be particularly linked with Marais de Mekhada (site DZ006), and the 95,000 A. penelope recorded in 1974 were believed to have been displaced from site DZ006 because of very low water-levels making it unsuitable as a roost.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  1980  18,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1974  95,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1974-1980  100,000 individuals  A4iii   

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
water management -

References Hughes and Hughes (1992), Skinner and Smart (1984), Stevenson et al. (1988).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Barrage de la Cheffia. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/12/2014

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