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Location Tunisia, Kébili
Central coordinates 8o 48.00' East  33o 26.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 100 ha
Altitude 20 - 40m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux"



Site description This semi-permanent wetland is situated 15 km west of Douz, 5 km from Douz Laâla (TN040), and consists of a depression holding brackish water. It is bordered to the east by the Ghidma oasis and by sand-dunes to the west and south. The site is fed with water by drainage from the nearby oases, and possibly from freshwater springs. Water depth varies from 1 m in winter to less than 30 cm in summer. Phragmites communis and Tamarix africana are found along the shores, and it has some of the densest vegetation of any of the Djerid oases.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Ghidma—like Sebkhet Nouaïel (site TN039), Douz Laâla (TN040) and Snam (TN041)—is a small wetland adjoining the small oases near the Chott Djerid south of Kebili. These wetlands (often called ‘guelta’ rather than ‘sebkha’ by local people) are normally small and situated just outside the oases. They are fed by run-off of artesian, fairly saline, oasis-water after it has been used for irrigation. In some cases, this artesian water is apparently supplemented by local springs, so that the water is fresher and the vegetation thicker, and water may last throughout the summer; in most however, the water evaporates and the site becomes dry in summer. These sites are very important nationally for wintering waterbird populations: in particular, it seems that the Tunisian breeding population of Marmaronetta angustirostris winters in these oasis sites, together with good numbers of Aythya nyroca, Plegadis falcinellus, and a variety of waders, notably such species as Charadrius dubius, Tringa glareola and Philomachus pugnax, which generally cross the Sahara in winter. The sites are of major importance in spring for northward-moving trans-Saharan migrants of all kinds, which need food and drink after their desert crossing. In some years, especially wet ones, the sites may also be of importance for breeding species, including Tadorna ferruginea and Marmaronetta angustirostris. In addition, six species of the Sahara–Sindian biome have been recorded in and around these small wetlands (see Table 2).Ghidma is a particularly good example of this kind of wetland. It is a breeding site for Tadorna ferruginea and Fulica atra. Other waterbirds include Casmerodius albus, Ardea purpurea, Himantopus himantopus, Gallinula chloropus, Charadrius dubius and C. alexandrinus.

Non-bird biodiversity: Both the ungulates Gazella dorcas (VU) and Gazella leptoceros (EN) have been recorded.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris breeding  60 breeding pairs  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  150-200 individuals  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  common  A1  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2009 not assessed very unfavourable medium
Population
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Marmaronetta angustirostris Marbled Teal 1 22 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Marmaronetta angustirostris Marbled Teal 60 11 breeding pairs 19 very unfavourable
Aythya nyroca Ferruginous Duck 1 54 individuals 100 favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium 

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

Name Year formed
AAO/ Tunisian Ornithology Group (GTO) 2000

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting -
other -
Notes: Cutting reeds.

References Gaultier (1988c), Hughes et al. (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ghidma. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/12/2014

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