|Central coordinates||6o 41.00' West 34o 14.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 77m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The site consists of the shallow dayet, or lake, of Sidi Bou Ghaba. Six kilometres long, but only 400 m broad at its widest point, the lake is enclosed between two rows of fossil dunes inland from, but parallel to, the Atlantic coast, some 30 km north of Rabat. The dunes are covered by Juniperus phoenicea woodland, intermixed with other woody species such as Pistacia lentiscus, Olea europea and Retama monosperma. The lake is fresh water, fed by rainfall and run-off. There are extensive areas with well-developed reedbeds and marshy vegetation consisting of Phragmites communis, Juncus acutus, J. maritimus, Cyperus laevigatus, Scirpus lacustris, S. holoschoenus, and Typha angustifolia. The lake is fringed with Tamarix gallica, Populus alba and introduced Eucalyptus species. The site is accessible by a tarmac road and receives large numbers of local visitors each year (see Conservation issues).
Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. An important site on the Atlantic coastal flyway, the Réserve Biologique receives thousands of wintering and passage migrants every year, particularly waterfowl. Around 107 species are regularly recorded, of which 35 breed. Sidi Bou Ghaba is best known for its wintering population of Marmaronetta angustirostris, which can number several hundred. Around 10 pairs breed each year. Aythya nyroca is a passage migrant in small numbers (maximum four individuals). Of the seven species of the Mediterranean North Africa biome that occur, five breed, while two (Falco eleonorae and Caprimulgus ruficollis) are non-breeding visitors.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Barbary Partridge Alectoris barbara||resident||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris||winter||-||480 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae||breeding||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata||resident||-||20 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata||winter||-||560 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Red-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus ruficollis||breeding||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala||resident||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans||breeding||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor||resident||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica||breeding||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|2001||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Natural system modifications||dams & water management/use - abstraction of ground water (agricultural use)||likely in short term (within 4 years)||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Pollution||agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded||likely in short term (within 4 years)||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Merja Sidi Boughaba||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||650||protected area contained by site||650|
|Sidi Boughaba||Biological Reserve||650||protected area contained by site||650|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
References BCEOM-SECA (1995c), Thevenot (1976).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Canton Forestier de Sidi Bou Ghaba. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/04/2015
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