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Location Morocco, Safi
Central coordinates 8o 40.00' West  32o 5.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 600 ha
Altitude 359 - 364m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Groupe de Recherche pour la Protection des Oiseaux au Maroc (Affiliate)

Site description A large, but temporary, inland wetland lying south-east of Safi near the town of Chemaia, Sebkha Zima lies in a depression and is fed by several rain-dependent streams. The substrate is saline, with around 40% of the bed of the sebkha given over to saltpans, and the wetland is surrounded by a belt of halophytic vegetation. During wet periods a thick cover of filamentous algae develops on soil surfaces, attracting large numbers of waterbirds. However, the Sebkha is often dry by the end of June. Average annual precipitation is 150–200 mm.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. In wet years Sebkha Zima can attract up to 10,000 wintering waterbirds. Several ducks are regularly seen in flocks numbering over 1,000, including Anas penelope, Anas clypeata, Tadorna tadorna and Anas acuta. Waders such as Calidris and Tringa spp. also visit and winter, as do flocks of Larus spp. numbering several hundred. Only a few species breed, among them Charadrius alexandrinus, Himantopus himantopus and Gelochelidon nilotica.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea winter  300 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  200 individuals  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  5,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport -

References BCEOM-SECA (1995b), El Agbani (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Sebkha Zima. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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