|Central coordinates||10o 45.00' West 28o 53.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 200m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box for key species. Calidris alba is present at high densities along much of the beach during the winter, while Marmaronetta angustirostris may frequent the temporary wetland between Oued Boussafene and Ras Takoumba. Larus fuscus approaches IBA thresholds.
Site description The site consists of a 40-km-long fine-sand beach and associated sand-dunes, stretching from Ras Takoumba in the north to Aoreora in the south, including the estuary of the Oued Boussafene. Along the 15 km of coastline between Ras Takoumba and Oued Boussafene, the coastal sand-dunes are low, and are separated from the inland edge of the coastal plateau by a shallow depression 400–500 m wide, which can be temporarily inundated with fresh water in wet years, forming an attractive habitat for migrating waterfowl. The 25-km stretch of coastline between Oued Boussafene and Aoreora (the section of coast usually referred to as ‘Plage Blanche’) is backed by fields of higher, stable dunes, which reach their greatest width, 9 km, at the southern end of the site. Vegetation consists of dunal vegetation, halophytic scrub with Euphorbia echinus, E. regis-jubae, E. balsamifera, Lycium intricatum and Tamarix gallica along watercourses.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris||winter||-||550 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Sanderling Calidris alba||winter||-||1,500 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Fifteen species of reptile, including four Moroccan endemics, and one endemic amphibian, Bufo brongersmai, are known from the site.
Management considerations The site is currently unprotected and is a priority 3 SIBE (no. L31). The principal threats are disturbance from fishermen and tourists who frequently drive along the beach; overgrazing, mainly between Ras Takoumba and Boussafene; and unregulated development of roads, tracks, settlement and tourist infrastructure. An integrated management plan to control these threats is required.
References BCEOM-SECA (1995c), Qninba et al. (1997).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Plage Blanche - Ras Takoumba. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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