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Location Tunisia, Sfax
Central coordinates 10o 19.00' East  34o 24.00' North
IBA criteria A3, A4i, A4iii
Area 5,850 ha
Altitude 0 - 3m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux"

Site description Located 50 km south of the town of Sfax and 25 km south-east of Mahares, Kneiss is a large area of wetland in the Gulf of Gabès. The site includes the surrounding semi-desert grasslands, the shoreline, intertidal flats and five offshore islands. The vegetation of the main island of Djeziret Bessila (650 ha) is composed of halophytic species including Halocnemum, Arthrocnemum and Suaeda species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  600-7,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia winter  200-1,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Haematopus ostralegus winter  10,000-20,000 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Charadrius alexandrinus winter  5,000-10,000 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola winter  1,000-32,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula winter  3,000-10,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  40,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  2,000-7,000 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  2,000-5,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  800-6,000 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres winter  600-4,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Little Stint Calidris minuta winter  5,000-8,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  125,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea winter  3,000-9,625 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Larus michahellis winter  600-8,000 individuals  A4i  Not Recognised 
Sterna nilotica breeding  250-400 breeding pairs  A4i  Not Recognised 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei winter  1,000-2,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis winter  1,000-3,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Red-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus ruficollis breeding  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Temminck's Lark Eremophila bilopha resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-rumped Wheatear Oenanthe moesta resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica breeding  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Iles Kneiss Nature Reserve 5,580 protected area contains site 5,850  

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)
nature conservation and research -

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

References Gaultier (1988a), Groupe Internationale pour Recherche des Oiseaux d’eaux et des Zones Humides (1994), Meininger et al. (1994), Ministère de l’Agriculture, Direction Générale des Forêts (2000), Oueslati (1995), van der Have et al. (1994), van Dijk et al. (1986).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kneiss. Downloaded from on 25/10/2014

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