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Location Tunisia, Bizerte
Central coordinates 9o 57.00' East  37o 2.00' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 2,000 ha
Altitude 15 - 25m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux"

Site description Garaet Mabtouh is a freshwater marsh, situated some 20 km south of Bizerte, in the lower flood-plain of the Medjerda, Tunisia’s largest river (which rises in Algeria). Formerly, the whole of the flood-plain must have been a magnificent wetland, but most has now been reclaimed for agriculture, and Garaet Mabtouh is the only part which still floods. In dry winters the site is not flooded, but in wet seasons it can hold considerable numbers of waterbirds, no doubt originating at nearby Ichkeul.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Other species wintering at the site include Egretta garzetta, Ardea cinerea, Anas penelope, A. crecca, Circus aeruginosus, Fulica atra, Grus grus, Himantopus himantopus, Pluvialis apricaria and Vanellus vanellus.

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
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  3,000-6,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola breeding  300 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2001 high near favourable negligible
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - dams (size unknown) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Wetlands (inland)   0 0 moderate (70-90%) good (> 90%) near favourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  Unknown  Unknown  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes and pools; Riverine floodplains  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

References Gaultier (1988a), Hughes et al. (1997), Pottier-Alapetite (1979, 1981).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Garaet Mabtouh. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife