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Location Tunisia, Sousse
Central coordinates 10o 30.00' East  36o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 1,000 ha
Altitude 2 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux"

Site description Like Sidi Khelifa (site TN016), situated some 30 km north along the coast, Sebkhet Halk el Menzel is partly coastal lagoon, partly saline depression, but is also linked to the inland sites of Kelbia (site TN020) and Oued Sed (TN018). In very wet years, Kelbia flows out to the sea, via Oued Sed, and reaches the sea through Halk el Menzel. It is likely that the freshwater springs round Oued Sed contribute to provision of water for Halk el Menzel in the summer, and there may be some reverse flood of seawater through the dune cordon, since Halk el Menzel retains some water in most summers. The surrounding vegetation is halophytic and includes Arthrocnemum, Salicornia and Atriplex species.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The site’s location, on the coast along a major north–south flyway, with water available for most of the year, means that, in addition to overwintering species (such as Platalea leucorodia, a variety of ducks including Tadorna tadorna, Anas acuta and A. clypeata, and waders), the site attracts many passing migrants, including waders such as Limosa limosa, Numenius arquata, N. phaeopus and terns. In winters, when other roosting sites are dry, Grus grus may use the site as a roost. Breeding birds include Sterna albifrons and, possibly, the occasional S. hirundo, as well as Charadrius alexandrinus and some T. tadorna.

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
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  500-3,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Crane Grus grus winter  2,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2009 not assessed very unfavourable low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Tadorna tadorna Common Shelduck 750 6545 individuals 100 favourable
Phoenicopterus roseus Greater Flamingo 1325 4672 individuals 100 favourable
Grus grus Common Crane 900 1 individuals 1 very unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
AAO/ Sfax Regional Branch 2000


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Lagoons; Salt marshes  major

Land use

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

References Gaultier (1986, 1987b, 1988a), Hamrouni (1999), Hughes et al. (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Sebkhet Halk el Menzel. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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