|Central coordinates||6o 3.00' West 35o 10.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Marais Larache is situated on the outskirts of the Atlantic coastal town of Larache. It extends 15 km inland, as the crow flies, from the mouth of the Oued Loukkos, including the estuary and associated saltpans and various freshwater marshes along its course. The two principal marshes are Bedaoua Sejra, on the right bank of the Oued Loukkos and Ain Chouk-Boucharène on the left bank. The whole site comprises part of the Plaine de Ksar El Kbir and is traversed by the Larache–Tanger (Tangiers) road. The marshes are one of the most important wetlands in the country, with a luxuriant and diverse assemblage of aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation, including Typha, Juncus, Scirpus and Phragmites spp. and fringing stands of Tamarix and Salix spp.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. This wetland site is one of the 5–10 most important wintering sites for Palearctic migrants in Morocco, situated as it is on the Atlantic coastal flyway. More than 4,000 duck regularly winter, including up to 100 Marmaronetta angustirostris. Numenius tenuirostris was formerly recorded, while Larus audouinii regularly occurs in small numbers. Over 50 species breed, including Fulica cristata. The Marais Larache is the only known Moroccan breeding site for small numbers of Aythya nyroca, and the most important Moroccan site for Porphyrio porphyrio (>600 wintering); Asio capensis also breeds.
Non-bird biodiversity: Six endemic lizards—Acanthodactylus lineomaculatus, Chalcides colosii, C. mionecton, C. pseudostriatus, C. polylepis and Blanus tingitanus—occur, as does the endemic Moroccan amphibian Pelobates varaldii.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris||winter||-||100 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus||winter||-||800 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia||winter||-||160 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata||winter||-||3,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta||winter||-||1,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Agriculture and aquaculture||livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - scale unknown/unrecorded||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Natural system modifications||dams & water management/use - abstraction of ground water (commercial use)||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Residential and commercial development||housing and urban areas||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Transportation and service corridors||roads and railroads||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||high|
|Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation||A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive||Very little or no conservation action taking place||low|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
References BCEOM-SECA (1995c), El Agbani (1997).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Marais Larache. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/11/2015
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