|Central coordinates||2o 22.00' West 35o 6.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 60m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The Oued Moulouya is the largest river to the east of the Middle Atlas and flows 600 km north from Midelt to the Mediterranean. The estuary lies 20 km north of the town of Berkane, only 12 km west of the Algerian border. The site has three components, together comprising 2,700 ha: the Chararba marsh, a freshwater wetland ringed by almost impenetrable dense vegetation; a sandy beach backed by dunes and, in places, a 20-m-high cliff; and the lower 25 km of the course of the Oued Moulouya itself. The luxuriant riparian vegetation consists of Tamarix sp. on the banks and Phragmites communis, Scirpus maritimus, Juncus sp. and Salicornia sp. There are also small plantations of Acacia and Eucalyptus spp. Annual rainfall is 340 mm.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. An important breeding colony of Larus audouinii, numbering 2,700 breeding pairs in 1997, lies just 5 km offshore from the mouth of the estuary on the Islas Chafarinas (IBA ES220), which belong to Spain. The estuary of the Oued Moulouya is thus an important roosting and resting site for this species. Marmaronetta angustirostris breeds in small numbers, but is declining in importance as a winter visitor—250 individuals seen in September 1979 and only 38 in April 1996 are indicative. Numenius tenuirostris was last recorded in 1958. Around 180 species have been recorded from the site, including five species of the Mediterranean North Africa biome (see Table 2).
Non-bird biodiversity: Two restricted-range lizards, Chalcides mauritanicus and C. parallelus, have been recorded.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris||winter||-||38 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii||winter||-||1,200 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Least Concern|
|2014||very high||not assessed||negligible|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Climate change and severe weather||habitat shifting and alteration||likely in short term (within 4 years)||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||medium|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||very high|
|Natural system modifications||dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (agricultural use)||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||high|
|Pollution||garbage & solid waste||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Residential and commercial development||housing and urban areas||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Little/none of site covered (<10%)||No management planning has taken place||Very little or no conservation action taking place||negligible|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Related state of the world's birds case studies
References BCEOM-SECA (1995c), Brosset (1959).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Embouchure Oued Moulouya. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/10/2016
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