Working for birds in Africa

Important Bird Areas

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 14:01 -- abc_admin
Tagdilt_track_Morocco

Tagdilt track, near Boumalne du Dades, Morocco. A prime area for several lark and wheatear species.

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

The Mediterranean North Africa biome covers approximately the northern half of the country, including the mountain ranges, and 16 of the 17 species restricted to this biome are present in Morocco. These include Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae, Levaillant’s Woodpecker Picus vaillantii, Dupont’s Lark Chersophilus duponti, Moussier’s Redstart Phoenicurus moussieri and Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans. The IBAs which cover this biome include the following: Parc Naturel de Talassemtane; Canton Forestier de Sidi Bou Ghaba; Parc National de Tazekka; Parc Naturel d’Ifrane; Region Fouchal-Matarka; Parc National du Haut Atlas Oriental; Parc National de Toubkal; Parc National de Souss-Massa and Aglou.

The North Africa component of the Sahara-Sindian biome covers the southern half of the country and 15 of its 22 species occur. These include Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii, Pharaoh’s Eagle Owl Bubo ascalaphus, Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptius, Streaked Scrub-Warbler Scotocerca inquieta and Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githaginea. The IBAs which cover this biome include the following: Jbel Krouz; Piste de Tagdilt; Merzouga / Tamezguidat; Msseyed; Baie d’Ad Dakhla and Parc National de Dakhla.

Morocco is on a main migration route between Africa and Europe and tens of millions of Palearctic migrants pass through each year including tens of thousands of raptors and storks crossing the Straits of Gibraltar. The coastal wetlands and inland waterways are important resting and feeding areas for migrant and overwintering birds.

A total of 46 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have been identified covering 4.3% of the country’s land area. 42 of these correspond to existing or proposed National Parks and Nature Reserves. The importance of wetlands in an essentially 'dry’ country is reflected in the fact that 16 are freshwater wetland sites and a further 10 are coastal wetlands. All of the important habitats for birds are covered including man-made wetlands, estuaries, cork-oak, juniper and cedar forests, steppe, desert and mountain plateau.

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

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