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Location Algeria, El Tarf
Central coordinates 7o 28.00' East  36o 45.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 13,700 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The site lies about 25 km south-west of Annaba and consists of a shallow, seasonally flooded depression in the flood-plain of the Oued Seybouse. In the nineteenth century there was a large freshwater lake on the site, regarded as ‘one of the great freshwater lakes of the Maghreb’ and the site with the richest concentrations of breeding waterbirds of any in Algeria. It was the key site in Algeria for Marmaronetta angustirostris which was ‘breeding in countless numbers’. The lake was drained in 1937 and its ornithological value declined dramatically. In the late 1970s, the site was dry for much of the year (May 1976 and January 1978), but in the early 1980s, an annual closure of the sluice on the outflow channel was instituted to retain winter floods. The water is released slowly down-stream to permit springtime irrigation and the slow fall in the lake levels also produces good spring and summer grazing on the lake shore. As a result, the lake now frequently holds water in the winter and beds of Scirpus maritimus, S. lacustris and Eleocharis sp. have developed in the depression, with patches of Juncus sp. The site is heavily grazed when not inundated and is surrounded by arable land. There is some hunting.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greylag Goose Anser anser winter  1994  13,400 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Gadwall Mareca strepera winter  1998  13,800 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1986  25,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  1984  7,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1984-1998  50,000-99,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Land use

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

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

References Chalabi et al. (1985), Chown and Linsley (1994), Green (1993) (and references therein: Phillips 1923), Heredia et al. (1996), Scott (1980), Stevenson et al. (1988), van Dijk and Ledant (1983).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lac Fetzara. Downloaded from on 23/09/2014

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