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Location Morocco, Guelmim
Central coordinates 10o 45.00' West  28o 53.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 25,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 200m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

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

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.

Key Biodiversity 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.

Non-bird biodiversity: Fifteen species of reptile, including four Moroccan endemics, and one endemic amphibian, Bufo brongersmai, are known from the site.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
tourism/recreation -

References BCEOM-SECA (1995c), Qninba et al. (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Plage Blanche - Ras Takoumba. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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