|Central coordinates||2o 51.00' West 35o 10.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 105m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The site is a long narrow lagoon on the Mediterranean coast in north-east Morocco, lying between the Cap des Trois Fourches and the Cap de l’Eau (Ras el Ma). Sebkha Bou Areg (also known as Ma Chica) is separated from the open sea by a 24-km-long sandbar, broken near its middle by a narrow channel. The site is bordered on the north-west by the port of Beni Enzar, to the west by the town of Nador, and to the south by the village of Kariat Arkmane. Although covering almost 18,000 ha, the lagoon is shallow, nowhere more than 7 m deep, and in some areas salt is precipitated through evaporation of seawater. The limits of the IBA encompass the lagoon, its sandbar, and the fringing coast, including a rocky conical hill on a promontory which rises to 105 m, but most of the site lies below 10 m. Annual rainfall is 400 mm. The lagoon vegetation consists of Zostera marina and Posidonia caulinii: on shore, Salicornia dominates and there is a well-developed reedbed near Kariat Arkmane.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus||winter||-||800-990 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis||winter||-||5,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Charadrius alexandrinus||winter||-||991 individuals||-||A4i||Not Recognised|
|Larus michahellis||breeding||-||5,457 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Not Recognised|
|Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii||winter||-||1,257 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis||winter||-||74 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Sebkha Bou Areg||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||14,000||protected area contained by site||14,000|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Collection of eggs and chicks of terns and gulls.|
Other biodiversity Two nationally rare skinks, Chalcides ghiari and C. mauritanicus, are present.
References BCEOM-SECA (1995c).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sebkha Bou Areg. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/11/2014
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