|Central coordinates||2o 13.00' West 33o 20.00' North|
|Altitude||1,060 - 1,310m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The site is a large triangular area of plateau, its northern apex situated at the village of Al Fouchal some 25 km south of Aïn Beni Mathar, its south-western corner at the village of Matarka, and its eastern boundary formed by the Oujda–Figuig road. Vegetation consists mainly of arid tussock-grass Stipa tenacissima–Artemisia inculta steppe. There are several gueltas/temporary ponds (e.g. Guelta El Beida, Dayet Oum Slimane). The principal economic activity is extensive livestock-rearing.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. Approximately 100 species have been recorded, including Chlamydotis undulata and large flocks of sandgrouse (an estimated 100,000 Pterocles alchata were observed in December 1993). Five species of the Sahara–Sindian biome also occur (see Table 2). In December 1993, 73 wintering Charadrius morinellus were recorded in a small part of this vast site, leading to the suspicion that numbers of this cryptic, hard-to-census species may exceed the threshold for qualification as an IBA under the A4i criterion.
Non-bird biodiversity: The mammal Gazella dorcas (LR/nt) occurs.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Barbary Partridge Alectoris barbara||resident||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus ruficollis||breeding||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Thick-billed Lark Rhamphocoris clotbey||resident||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Dupont's Lark Chersophilus duponti||resident||1999||present||-||A3||Near Threatened|
|Temminck's Lark Eremophila bilopha||resident||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata||resident||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala||resident||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-rumped Wheatear Oenanthe moesta||resident||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica||breeding||1999||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Region Fouchal - Matarka. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/01/2015
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