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Important Bird Areas

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 11:52 -- abc_admin

Habitat for Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti Algeria

Image Credit: 
Aïssa Moali

Algeria is important for raptors, waterbirds including migrant wintering species, and large steppe birds. It has one endemic species Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti which is a restricted range species, the distribution of which defines the North Algerian mountains secondary Endemic Bird Area. Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti is known from 5 sites all within 30 km of each other on forested slopes above 1,000 m in the Petite Kabylie mountain range in the Tell region.

Algeria’s wetlands, in particular those along the coast and on the plateau south of Constantine, are of huge importance for migratory and resident waterbirds including three globally threatened species Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca and White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala. The coastline and offshore islands are significant for breeding seabirds notably Audouin’s Gull Larus audouinii.

Elements of two biome restricted species occur in Algeria: all 17 species of the Mediterranean North Africa biome and 15 of the 22 species restricted to the Sahara-Sindian biome.

A total of 31 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have been identified in Algeria which cover 130,000 km2 or some 5.5% of the land surface (although the exact boundaries of some sites remain undefined). The sites are clustered in the northern part of the country with 23 in the Tell region.

The wetlands of the El Kala complex near the coast, east of Annaba include the following 6 IBAs: Lac Oubeïra ; Lac Tonga ; Lac Melah; Bou Redim ; Lac des Oiseaux / Garaet Ettouyour and Marais de Mekhada. The wetlands to the south of the town of Constantine are known as the ‘Chotts Constantinois’ and include the following 5 IBAs: Sebkhet Bazer ; Chott de Tinnsilt ; Sebkhet Ezzemoul ; Sebkhet Djendli and Garaet Ettarf.

The remaining 11 wetland sites are: Barrage de la Cheffia ; Lac Fetzara ; Complexe de zones humides de la plaine de Guerbes-Sanhadja; Barrage de Boughzoul; Dayette Morsli - Plaine de Remila (Dayet El Ferd) ; Marais de la Macta ; Sebkha d'Oran ; Chott Merouane et Oued Khrouf ; Garet el-Haaies el Beni Mohammed ; Îles Habibas and Île Rachgoune.
The following 2 sites hold populations of the Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti: Djebel Babor and Parc National de Taza. The following 2 sites hold colonies of Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni: Parc National du Djurdjura and Parc National du Belezma.

El Bayadh lies in the Saharan Atlas mountain range and a small colony of Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita was reported from this area into the early 1980s.

The remaining 4 IBAs hold species of the Sahara-Sindian biome: Aïn Sefra and Béni Abbès are in the west of the country towards the Moroccan border and Parc National du Tassili N'Ajjer and Parc National de l'Ahaggar are located in the far south-east of the country.

For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.

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