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Location Morocco, Essaouira
Central coordinates 9o 17.00' West  31o 19.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 350 ha
Altitude 500 - 800m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Groupe de Recherche pour la Protection des Oiseaux au Maroc (Affiliate)



Site description Lying in a mountainous region to the north of the High Atlas, 65 km south-east of Essaouira, the site consists of 7 km of the watercourse of the Oued Matil, which along this section passes between cliffs. The site covers 350 ha and varies in altitude from 500 m to 800 m. The valley bed is heavily cultivated.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The cliffs are the main interest of this area, formerly harbouring a colony and roost of Geronticus eremita. However, the site has only been visited infrequently by ornithologists. On 27 May 1988, seven birds were seen coming in to roost in the evening. The site was revisited in July 1995 and April 1996. No G. eremita were observed, but local people insisted that they had been seen in small numbers in the previous two to three months. Although inconclusive, this does leave open the possibility that birds are visiting the area during the breeding season. It is therefore possible that some G. eremita still nest either upstream or downstream of the site, or that they may eventually recolonize the former colony site. The cliffs do continue to host breeding Ciconia ciconia and raptors. In addition, six breeding species of the Mediterranean North Africa biome occur (see Table 2).

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
Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita winter  1988  7 individuals  A1, A4i  Critically Endangered 

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Oued Matil: Ksob. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/12/2014

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