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Location Tunisia, Medenine
Central coordinates 11o 15.00' East  33o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 23,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux"

Site description Also known as Bhiret el Bibane (the Sea of Bibane), the site is situated on the south-eastern coast, 10 km north of Ben Guerdane, 20 km south of Zarzis and 15 km from the Libyan border. It is a coastal lagoon 32 km long and up to 10 km wide, with an average depth of 4 m. It is linked to the sea by a series of small channels, the largest of which is 800 m wide.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. It is an important wintering and passage site for waterbirds including Anas penelope, A. acuta, A. clypeata, Grus grus, Numenius arquata, N. phaeopus, N. tenuirostris (a group of 32 was reported in 1979), Larus melanocephalus, L. minutus, L. ridibundus, L. genei, L. fuscus, L. cachinnans, Sterna nilotica and S. caspia. Larus cachinnans, Sterna hirundo and S. albifrons all breed.

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  1,000-3,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  3,000-10,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2009 medium favourable medium
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration likely in long term (beyond 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium

Phoenicopterus roseus Greater Flamingo 1000 258 individuals 26 not assessed
Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant 3000 3727 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 20000 7290 individuals 37 not assessed

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bahiret el Bibane Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 39,266 protected area contains site 23,000  
Réserve de Chasse Bhiret El Bibane Other Area 0 is identical to site 23,000  

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -

References Denizot and Guelorget (1981), Gaultier (1988a), Gretton (1991), Hughes et al. (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Bibane. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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