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Location Tunisia, Sfax
Central coordinates 10o 43.00' East  34o 38.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 1,900 ha
Altitude 2 - 3m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux"

Site description The Thyna saltpans, immediately to the south of Sfax, are, with the Monastir saltpans (TN021), the only remaining commercially exploited saltpans in Tunisia, and much the biggest. The succession of shallow pools, of varying depth and salinity, provide prime habitat for waterbirds of all kinds and the constant supervision and wardening means that disturbance is restricted to a minimum. Their commercial exploitation means that there is always water available, even at the end of the long dry summer. The Thyna saltpans are, like Kerkennah (TN026), Kneiss (TN032), Oued Akarit (TN034), Bordj Kastil (TN036), Gourine (TN037) and Boughrara (TN038), situated at the centre of the Gulf of Gabès which, with its high tidal movement, is almost unique in the Mediterranean. Just offshore of Thyna are the tidal harbour of Sfax and extensive tidal mudflats, separated from the saltpans by an embankment.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis winter  600-2,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  750-7,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia winter  200-600 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  1,000-2,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Little Stint Calidris minuta winter  2,500-5,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea winter  2,000-5,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei breeding  1,400 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei winter  1,400-3,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis winter  400-3,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Salines de Thyna Wetland Zone of National Importance 860 protected area contained by site 860  
Salines de Thyna Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 3,343 protected area contains site 1,900  

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

Name Year formed
AAO/ Sfax Regional Branch 2000

Land use

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

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

References Dalensi (1998), Gaultier (1988a, b), Hughes et al. (1997), Ministère de l’Agriculture, Direction Générale des Forêts (2000), Thomsen and Jacobsen (1979).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Salines de Thyna. Downloaded from on 20/10/2014

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