|Central coordinates||2o 13.00' West 33o 20.00' North|
|Altitude||1,060 - 1,310m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information 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.
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.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Barbary Partridge Alectoris barbara||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pharaoh Eagle-owl Bubo ascalaphus||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Red-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus ruficollis||breeding||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Greater Hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Thick-billed Lark Rhamphocoris clotbey||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Dupont's Lark Chersophilus duponti||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Near Threatened|
|Temminck's Lark Eremophila bilopha||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-rumped Wheatear Oenanthe moesta||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica||breeding||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus||resident||1999||-||-||Least Concern|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity The mammal Gazella dorcas (LR/nt) occurs.
Management considerations The site is unprotected. Threats include overgrazing and hunting.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Region Fouchal - Matarka. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2013
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