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Location Israel
Central coordinates 34o 55.00' East  32o 33.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iv, B1i, B1iv, B2
Area 2,400 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel



Site description A 20-km-strip along the Mediterranean coast, from Atlit south to the Taninim River Nature Reserve. The site includes the Atlit saltpans (8 km south of Haifa) and a large complex of fish-ponds at Ma'agan Mikhael and Ma'ayan Zvi, c.25 km north of Netanya, as well as some small islands off Ma'agan Mikhael.

Key Biodiversity See boxes for key species. Breeding birds include five species of heron and egret and Plegadis falcinellus. The Atlit saltpans hold the only colony of Sterna albifrons in Israel. Good numbers of many waterbird species winter, when up to 55 Circus aeruginosus are also present. Large flocks of Pelecanus onocrotalus occur on passage.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Meriones sacramenti (endemic). Reptiles: Chalcides guentheri. Flora: Aegialophila pumilio, Salsola soda.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  1991  10 individuals  unknown  A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
White Stork Ciconia ciconia passage  1991  500-50,000 individuals  unknown  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia passage  1991  155-200 individuals  unknown  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis resident  1991  500-700 breeding pairs  unknown  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris winter  1991  10 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax resident  1991  100-250 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax winter  1991  100-300 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides passage  1991  100-150 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea passage  1991  200-1,000 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea winter  1991  700-1,000 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Great White Egret Ardea alba winter  1991  100-300 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus passage  1991  25,000-30,000 individuals  unknown  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta passage  1991  300-400 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  1991  300 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  1991  200-300 individuals  good  B1i  Near Threatened 
Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni passage  1991  20 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans passage  1991  8,000-10,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans winter  1991  15,000-17,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus passage  1991  10,000 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus winter  1991  20,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1991  240-250 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida passage  1991  1,000-2,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus passage  1991  1,000-3,500 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes passage  1991  25,500-80,000 individuals  good  A4iv, B1iv   

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed low
unset
Unknown

Agricultural expansion and intensification marine and freshwater aquaculture - industrial aquaculture happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Atlit Nature Reserve 15 protected area contained by site 15  
Berekhat Timsah Nature Reserve 2 protected area contained by site 2  
Dor-Habonim Barcelona Convention 113 protected area contained by site 113  
Hof Atlit Nature Reserve 43 protected area contained by site 43  
Hof Dor HaBonim Nature Reserve 42 protected area contained by site 42  
Iyye Hof Dor U-Ma'agan Mikha'el Nature Reserve 2 protected area contained by site 2  
Ma'agan Michael Barcelona Convention 2 protected area contained by site 2  
Tanimin River Barcelona Convention 6 protected area contained by site 6  
Taninim river Nature Reserve 6 protected area contained by site 6  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea   minor
Artificial - aquatic   minor
Coastline   major
Artificial - terrestrial   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport minor
fisheries/aquaculture minor
nature conservation and research 20%
agriculture major

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by S. Blitzblau, reviewed by R. Frumkin.

References Blitzblau (1990a).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Carmel coast. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2014

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