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Location Tunisia, Gafsa
Central coordinates 9o 3.00' East  34o 14.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 11,000 ha
Altitude 40 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux"



Site description This site is called a sebkhet, or salt-lake, though parts of it have the character of a garaet or freshwater marsh. It is the lowest point of a major plain between Gafsa and Gabès, between the Djebel Orbata and the Djebel Hachichina, where steppe meets desert. In many winters it remains dry, but after wet winters it collects fresh water, like the other smaller depressions of the region (Bled Es-Segui), such as Garaet Fatnassa and Garaet Zougrata. Much of the lake floor is without a salt-crust and can be cultivated when rainfall permits. In many ways it resembles a southern version of Ichkeul or Kelbia, and has not as yet been affected by dam-building. The surrounding steppe is dominated by Arthrophytum species and Astragalus armatus. The shores of the sebkha support a halophytic vegetation in which Arthrocnemum indicum and Salicornia arabica are conspicuous elements.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. Populations of wintering and breeding waterbirds vary from year to year with precipitation. In wet winters, there are good numbers of Palearctic ducks (and even geese), including Oxyura leucocephala (40–80), and Grus grus, while in wet springs many waterbirds nest; there was a large colony of nesting Phoenicopterus ruber in the last wet summer, 1990, when large numbers of Marmaronetta angustirostris also nested.

Non-bird biodiversity: The mammal Gazella dorcas (VU) occurs but is rare.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Barbary Partridge Alectoris barbara resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris breeding  50 breeding pairs  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  300 individuals  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala winter  40-80 individuals  A1  Endangered 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus breeding  1,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  3,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Crane Grus grus winter  1,000-2,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  1,000-3,500 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dupont's Lark Chersophilus duponti resident  1999  present  A3  Near Threatened 
Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans breeding  1999  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Tristram's Warbler Sylvia deserticola winter  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fulvous Chatterer Turdoides fulva resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
Moussier's Redstart Phoenicurus moussieri resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga 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 
Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus resident  1999  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Wetlands (inland)   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

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

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Saline lakes  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
hunting -

References Dalensi (1998), Gaultier (1988a), Hughes et al. (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sebkhet Sidi Mansour. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/12/2014

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