Working for birds in Africa

Tunisia

News

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 15:55 -- abc_admin

The following largely unconfirmed reports have appeared in Bulletins of the African Bird Club for information only. Some records were previously in Dutch Birding and Birding World.

from ABC Bulletin 22.2

The following were reported in January - February 2015. A Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris was seen at Lake Ichkeul on 19 February. In J’bil National Park, a flock of 24 Eurasian Dotterels Charadrius morinellus was found on 16 February. The fourth Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva for the country was seen at Djerba, on 5 January. Also there were four Great Skuas Stercorarius skua. In early January, 50 - 100 African Reed Warblers Acrocephalus baeticatus were counted at the wetlands of Douz, Zaafrane and Ghidma. On 13 February, 6 - 8 Alpine Accentors Prunella collaris were observed at Zaghouan. 

from ABC Bulletin 21.2

The first Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes for Tunisia was observed at a wetland near Douz on 18 March 2014; details will be published in a future Bull. ABC. Another first, if accepted, is a Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus claimed from Djerba on 8 December 2013. Neither species has been recorded from neighbouring Algeria, but both are known from Morocco, the former as a vagrant, the latter as an uncommon to locally common passage migrant and winter visitor.

from ABC Bulletin 19.2

Records from a visit in May 2012 include the following. An adult Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus was seen in El Feija  National Park (=NP) on 10 May, with an immature also there next day; according to Isenmann et al. (2005. Birds of Tunisia) the species is rare in the area. Three Rose-ringed Parakeets Psittacula krameri were seen flying to Belvédère park in Tunis on 23 May; a small population occurs in the parks around the Belvédère and the University of torquilla was singing in El Feija NP on 10 May; there are few breeding records for the country, but nesting was already suspected at this site. A pair of Grey Wagtails Motacilla cinerea was found nesting at Aïn Soltane, Ghardimaou; this apparently constitutes the first breeding record for Tunisia. At the same site, a late White Wagtail M. a. alba was observed on 8 May. Both Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti and European Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus were observed just once, on 19 May, at Oued Mellegue, north of Kef (single singing individuals of each). A late Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita was singing in El Feija NP on 9–10 May, with a singing Iberian Chiffchaff P. ibericus also there; a mist-netted female of the latter species had a well developed brood patch. A Eurasian Oriole Oriolus oriolus was singing in Belvédère park in Tunis on 23 May.

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A visit in late October 2009 yielded a flock of 11 Thick-billed Larks Ramphocoris clotbey at Matmata on 21st and up to 30 Desert Sparrows Passer simplex in Djebil National Park on 21st - 22nd, whilst a flock of 14 early Ring Ouzels Turdus torquatus was observed on Djebel Chambi on 30th.

A Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius photographed at Thyna on 10 February was the third for Tunisia; previous records were in April 1976, at the same site, and December 1981, near Nefta/Tozeur.

Records from October 2007 include the following. White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala were reported from Sidi Jdidi Reservoir, Nabeul, on 7th (81) and Barrage El Haouareb, Kairouan, on 10th (three). Single Black-shouldered Kites Elanus caeruleus were observed 65 km north-west of Sousse on 9th and 15 km south-west of Kairouan on 10th. Two adult Purple Swamphens Porphyrio porphyrio were at Sidi Jdidi Reservoir on 7th. A first-winter Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva was discovered at Barrage El Haouareb on 10th.

A first-winter Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius was claimed from Djerba in early January 2007; this would be the first for Tunisia, if accepted. Records from February 2007 include the following. Four hundred Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris were counted at various wetlands near Douz on 8th and 210 White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala at El Haouareb Dam on 25th. A Spotted Crake Porzana porzana was near Douz on 8th. Five hundred European Golden Plovers Pluvialis apricaria were at Metbasta on 24th. An Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus was at Gabès on 21st, with two there the next day. Thousands of Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus and up to 1,500 Slender-billed Gulls L. genei were seen between Skhira and Tyna on 22nd. At Gabès, at least three, possibly five, adult Great Black-backed Gulls L. marinus were found on 21st; this is a very rare winter visitor.

Two to three calling European Scops Owls Otus scops were seen near Douz on 8th. A Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla was at Carthage, Tunis, on 4th. Water Pipits Anthus spinoletta were recorded at Thyna Salina salt works near Sfax (six on 5th:) and at Ghidma (three on 25th:). Also at Ghidma, a few Eurasian Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus were in song on 21st - an early date. A Tristram’s Warbler Sylvia deserticola was at Zaghouan on 5th and another near Matmata on 6th; this species breeds in the west but disperses in winter as far as the desert zone. Four Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were observed at Jbil National Park, a known site for the species and Tunisia’s only Important Bird Area from where it has been recorded, on 7th.

On 10 March 2006, 13 Common Scoters Melanitta nigra (a male, a female and 11 immatures / females) were caught in fishing nets in the Gulf of Tunis off Ezzahra. The species winters along the Atlantic coast of North Africa but is accidental in Tunisia: there is only one previous definite record for the country, a male at Monastir in January 1976.

In October 2005-March 2006, the following records were reported. At Sebkhet Sejoumi, 20,000 Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus (ruber) roseus were counted on 22 October. On 13 November, 31 Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus were at Lebna reservoir. In January, 5,500 wintering Commmon Cranes Grus grus were counted in the regions of Tunis, Kairouan and Sfax. Twenty Temminck's Stints Calidris temminckii were seen at Sebkhet Soliman on 5 March.

Records from April-June 2005 include the following. An adult Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis was with Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia at Korba Lagoons, Cap Bon, from 27 June until at least 10 July. Five family parties of Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris were also there on 27 June. Several Steppe Eagles Aquila nipalensis, including a group of five, were reported from Cap Bon in April-May. Several Egyptian Nightjars Caprimulgus aegyptius were in song at Ghidma, south of Douz, in early May. In June, up to 14 Cream-coloured Coursers Cursorius cursor and c.30 Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were observed at Bir Soultane on 24th, two male and one female Egyptian Nightjars Caprimulgus aegyptius at Ghidma, with another male at El Matrouha, on 25th, and four Levaillant’s Woodpeckers Picus vaillantii at Ain Draham on 23rd.

On 9 October 2005, the Korba and Soliman Lagoons held 4,300 Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus (ruber) roseus, including 87 ringed, and also Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris, Ferruginous Ducks Aythya nyroca and Purple Swamphens Porphyrio porphyrio.

The following records were received for the period December 2004-May 2005. Sixty-one Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea were counted at a lake near Douz on 11 Decembe, 3,200 Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris in the same area on 9 December, whilst 30 White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala were still at Barrage Sidi Jdid in early December. A Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis was displaying above oak forests of Beni M'tir, Jendouba, in the north-west, on 3 May, and an immature Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga passed Cap Bon on 2 May; there are few records of either species in Tunisia. On 20-22 January, an exceptional c1,000 Temminck's Horned Larks Eremophila bilopha were seen along the Bir Sultana Road, and c70 Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were observed at Ksar Ghilane on 10-11 December.

On 17 October 2004, 2,300 Ferruginous Ducks Aythya nyroca and 652 Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris were counted at Barrage Oued Rmal, and 30 White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala at Barrage Sidi Jdid.

Records from December 2003 include a pair of Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea near Douz on the 17th and another west of Kebili the following day. South of Kairouan, c400 Ferruginous Ducks Aythya nyroca and c400 White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala were counted on the 7th; a slightly higher number of Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris was also present here and at least 280 were at Douz on the 28th.

Records from June to October 2003 include the following. At Sebket Halk el Menzel, Sousse, 18 Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia and between 1,500 and 1,600 Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber were counted on 8 June. Also there on the same date were 120 breeding pairs of Pied Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta, 135 Slender-billed Gulls Larus genei and 60 breeding pairs of Little Terns Sterna albifrons. At Soliman, Nabeul, 142 European White Storks Ciconia ciconia were observed on 19 July.

Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris with young were recorded at Oued Sed, Sousse, on 8 June (two pairs with four and ten young respectively and one adult with 14 young), at Soliman on 13 June (one adult with 10 young) and at Lebna reservoir, Nabeul (seven adults with 15 young). On 25 July, 142 Ferruginous Ducks Aythya nyroca, and 14 adults with 7 young White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala were counted at Lebna reservoir. Four Common Cranes Grus grus, presumably first-year birds, stayed at Soliman from 19 July until 7 October; this appears to be the first record of oversummering cranes in the country.

Records from the period November 2002 to March 2003 include the following. Twelve Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber, ten Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea and 27 Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca were counted in the region of Douz, Touzeur and Nefta, south Tunisia, between 20 and 23 March. Also in the Douz area c760 Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris were counted on 2 December, at least 4,000 on 13 February and 1,360+ between 20 and 23 March. A trip of 22 Eurasian Dotterel Charadrius morinellus was found near Enfida on 28 November. About 3,500 Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus were on the coast near Sfax on 6 December and three White-winged Terns Chlidonias leucopterus at Thyna salt-pan on 8 December.

In December 2002, five Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto were noted in two south-western oases; the first (possibly ship-assisted) were recorded in 1991 in Bizerte, north Tunisia; in 2001 the species was found in the Douz region, in the south. An Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina was found in the Douz region during a survey from 20 to 23 March. A few pairs of Desert Sparrow Passer simplex were in Kebilia National Park and the Bir Soltane road in early December.

In January 2001, more than 500 Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris were counted near Douz on the 17th. Near Tozeur, a Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata was observed on the 18th. Thirteen Thick-billed Larks Rhamphocoris clotbey were at Seldja on the 19th; it was an invasion year for this species.

Five Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea, one Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus and at least 10 singing Desert Warblers Sylvia nana were seen in the Douz area on 19 April 2001. An Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina was found at Zarzis, on the south-eastern coast, on 9 April 2001.

Birds observed at Oued El Rmal Reservoir (36°21'N 10°21'E) on 13 October 2001 included 4,000 Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber, 1,613 Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris, 1,682 Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca (with two more on Jdidi Reservoir, 36°25'N 10°27'E) and 186 White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala. The next day, 1,600 Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris were counted at Oued El Hajar Reservoir (36°52'N 11°02'E) and 1,053 at Lebna Reservoir (36°42'N 10°56'E), with also 269 Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca at the former. The total of 1,953 Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca is probably the highest number ever recorded in Tunisia.

Map

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References

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AMARI, M and AZAFZAF, H. Tunisia chapter pp 953-973 in FISHPOOL, L.D.C. and EVANS M.I. editors (2001) Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority sites for conservation. Newbury and Cambridge, UK. Pisces Publications and BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No.11).

AZAFZAF, H. (2001) White-Headed Ducks in Tunisia, Threatened Waterfowl Specialist Group (TWSG N° 11).

AZAFZAF, H., FELTRUP-AZAFZAF, C., AMARI, M. and DLENSI, H. (2002) Une Nidification du Tadorne casarca Tadorna ferruginea sur un site Inhabituel du sud Tunisien. Alauda 70 (3).

AZAFZAF, H. (2002) Statut actuel de la population de la Cigogne blanche Ciconia ciconia en Tunisie. Alauda 70 pp 387-392.

AZAFZAF, H. (2003) The Ferruginous Duck in Tunisia. In: Petkov, N. Hughes, B. and Gallo-Orsi, U. (editors). Ferruginous Duck : From Research to Conservation. Conservation Series N°6. Birdlife International-BSPB-TWSG, Sofia.

AZAFZAF, H., FELTRUP-AZAFZAF, C., DLENSI, H. & HAMOUDA, N. (2005)Concentration d’Alouette de Clotbey Rhamphocoris clotbey et d’Alouette bilophe
Eremophila bilopha en Tunisie. Aves Ichnusae 7 pp 54-59.

AZAFZAF H., SMART M. and DLENSI H. (2006) Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia in Tunisia. EUROSITE Spoonbill network Newsletter Vol 4, March.

AZAFZAF H., FELTRUP-AZAFZAF C. and DLENSI H. (2007) Breeding of the Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus in Salines de Thyna, Tunisia. Bulletin of IUCN-SSC / Wetlands International, FLAMINGO SPECIALIST GROUP, December.

AZAFZAF, H., HAGGUI, R., FELTRUP-AZAFZAF, C. and SMART, M. (2008) Recent record of Common Scoter Melanitta nigra in Tunisia. Aves Ichnusae 8 pp 36-38.

BirdLife International (2000) Threatened Birds of the World. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

BRADSHAW Chr. G. (2015) First record of Lesser Yellowlegs for Tunisia. ABC Bulletin 22(1) pp 82-83 

CHAMMEM, M. (2003) Houbara Bustard on the verge of extinction in Tunisia. Note in ABC Bulletin 10(2) pp 76-77. Source: Alauda 71: pp 41-47.

COCKER, M. (2005) Birding Tunisia - off the beaten track. ABC Bulletin 12(1) pp 56-62.

GRUSSU, M., DLENSI, H. & AZAFZAF, H. (2008) Sur la nidification de l'Aigrette des récifs en Tunisie. ABC Bulletin 15(1) pp. 88-89.

GRUSSU, M., CONCA, G., CORSO, A. & DLENSI H. (2006) Observations hivernales notables d’oiseaux en Tunisie [Notable winter records of birds in Tunisia]. ABC Bulletin 13 (2) pp 167-169.

HEINZEL H., FITTER R. and PARSLOW J. (1996) Oiseaux d’Europe d’Afrique du Nord et du Moyen-Orient. Delachaux et Niestlé S.A., Lausanne (Suisse), ISBN: 2-6030-1010-7. Published in English as Birds of Britain and Europe with North Africa and the Middle-East (1995) by Collins, ISBN: 0-0021-9894-0.

OLIOSO, G., PONS, J-M. and TOUHRI, M. (2013) First breeding record of Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea for Tunisia. ABC Bulletin 20(1) pp 76-77. 

SCHNEIDER, R. (2005) Notes on the distribution of House Bunting Emberiza striolata in Tunisia. ABC Bulletin 12(1) pp 14-17.

Contacts

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African Bird Club representative

Bird recorder and checklist compiler

Hichem Azafzaf
GTO Coordinator
11 Rue Abou el alla al maari

Cite el houda 
2080 Ariana
Tunisia

E-mail: azafzaf@gmail.com

Clubs

Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux" BirdLife partner designated in Tunisia

Ariana Center – Office C 208/209

2080 Ariana – TUNISIA

Phone / Fax: +216 71 717 860

Mobile: +216 23 221 781

E-mail: aao.bird@planet.tn

and its scientific group (contact of the coordinator)

Groupe Tunisien d’Ornithologie (GTO)
11 rue abou el alla el maari 
2080 Ariana 
TUNISIE

Tél/Fax: +216 701664
E-mail: azafzaf@gmail.com

Conservation

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Djebel_Bent_Saidane_Tunisia

Djebel Bent Saidane, Tunisia

Image Credit: 
Hichem Azafzaf

Tunisia has a number of environmental Issues in common with many African countries, such as limited natural fresh water resources, deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion and desertification.

The country is party to a number of international agreements including Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea and Wetlands.

Ichkeul National Park is a Biosphere Reserve, World Heritage and Ramsar site 25 km south-west of Bizerte and has been one of the most important wetlands in the western Mediterranean for huge numbers of passage and wintering waterbirds. The ecology of the lake and marshes has been much altered as a result of the construction of dams, the consequence of which has been a reduction of freshwater inflow and an increase in salt water inflow, and a crash in the number of waterbirds. Various studies have been carried out and a plan put in place to allocate additional fresh water resources.

In January 2003, a search for Slender-billed Curlew Slender-billed Curlews Numenius tenuirostris were found. However, surveys of other waterbirds were carried out and a public awareness campaign was organised.

A five-year study by Mohsen Chammem et al on the status and distribution of Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata in Tunisia undertaken from 1996 to 2001 found that the species is on the verge of extinction in the country. This is due to excessive hunting by foreign falconers, habitat destruction by agricultural expansion, disturbance by livestock, petrol and gas exploration, and inclement climate conditions in an area where the species has taken refuge. Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata is now only found in the extreme south, where it occurs in sub-optimal habitats that are exposed to little human disturbance - see reference (iii).

A two year study of the breeding population of European White Stork Ciconia ciconia has been carried out by Hichem Azafzaf. The population which was initially located in the north-west of the country is now found over nearly the whole northern part of Tunisia (records of the last 5 years). For that reason, particular attention was given to the population trends in order to find out if the new colonies are simply the result of a displacement of breeding pairs from the north-west region or if the phenomenon results from an overall increase of the population. 231 nests with young were censused in 1998 and 303 in 1999. The findings were that the species extended its breeding range towards the east and the south without really increasing its breeding numbers - AZAFZAF, H. (2002).

The 11th Pan-African Ornithological Congress was held at Djerba, Tunisia from 20th to 25th November 2004. The theme was ‘Birds crossing borders — linking people and habitats throughout Africa’.

The Tunisian authorities have announced (2005) that 15 wetlands are to be recognised as Ramsar sites. The total area to be protected comprises more than 750,000 ha and includes salt lakes, swamps, peat bogs, oases and lagoons.

Books & Sounds

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If you are planning to bird in North Africa then a good Western Palearctic guide will suffice. The Collins guide, in any of its forms, or the Lars Jonsson guide are probably the most comprehensive.

You can purchase these and other books from WildSounds, one of the largest specialist UK mail-order companies, via our book and media sales page. Many birdwatchers are not only interested in birds, so we have added the most useful books for other taxa on this page. 

*** Wildsounds donates 5% of each order generated via these links to the ABC Conservation Fund. Please order here, get a good price and support ABC! ***

Book image: 
Book info: 
Collins Bird Guide (2nd edition), Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström, HarperCollins, Softback, Hardback and Large format hardback.
Book description: 

The most complete field guide to the birds of Britain, Europe, North Africa, most of the Middle East, the Canaries and Madeira. Written by one of Europe's leading ornithologists Lars Svensson (with a translation by David Christie) and illustrated by two of the world's finest bird illustrators - Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström. This book provides all the information needed to identify any species at any time of year, with detailed text on size, habitat, range, identification and voice.

Accompanying every species entry is a distribution map and colour illustrations (over 3500 in all) to show the species in all the major plumages (male, female, immature, in flight, at rest, feeding). The book is fully integrated, so that all this information appears on one spread, the ideal structure for use in the field. Each group of birds has an introduction, which covers the major problems involved in identifying or seeing them: how to organise a sea watching trip, how to separate birds of prey in flight, which duck hybrids can be confused with which species, etc.

The combination of definitive text, up-to-date distribution maps and superb illustrations, all in a single volume, makes this book the ultimate field guide, essential on every bookshelf and birdwatching trip.

Media type: 
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Book info: 
Birds of Europe with North Africa & The Middle East, Lars Jonsson, Helm, Softback and Hardback.
Book description: 

Still one of the better field guides. Covers all but a few of the Western Palearctic's breeding birds. 400 superb colour plates by the author Lars Jonsson.

Media type: 
Book image: 
Book info: 
Bird Songs of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Andreas Schulze & Karl-Heinz Dingler, Edition Ample, 2 MP3 Discs.
Book description: 

2,817 sound recordings of the songs, calls and other sounds of 819 bird species. The birds are systematically arranged so similar species can be easily compared.

MP3 Tags include the French, German, English and scientific name although this information is not easily accessible and it is difficult to navigate through the sounds using this information. The MP3 product still requires the use of the booklets for indexing and explanatory notes. A printed index in German, English and French is provided (although the English index uses the complete name so "Long-tailed Duck" is indexed under "L" and not "D" as in "Duck, Long-tailed"). A booklet providing details of the recordings is available on the DVD in PDF format.

Each bird species has one to five separate, consecutive tracks or MP3 files. This enables you to choose the calls separately from the songs, for example, which in practice brings obvious advantages.

Media type: 
Book image: 
Book info: 
Bird Sounds of Europe & North-west Africa, Jean C. Roché & Jérôme Chevereau, WildSounds, Boxed 10 CD Set.
Book description: 

Reprinting due to popular demand! Songs and calls of 483 species and sub-species, with longer and more extensive vocalisations than previous CD publications. Species are in systematic order and are indexed by track number only and not interrupted by announcements. Each CD is fully indexed on the sleeve by track/species order as well as by species name (common and alternative). Accompanying 48 page booklet is fully indexed by scientific, common and alternative names and provides details of the type and duration of the sounds. Plays for almost 12 hours!

Media type: 
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Book info: 
Birds of North-West Africa, Jean C Roché, Jérôme Chevereau, Sittelle, CD.
Book description: 

Contains the songs and calls of 52 carefully chosen species and interesting sub-species variations. The area covered includes Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco south to the Sahara, encompassing the Atlas Mountains. The species are indexed for instant access. A stereo concert, from the extraordinary temporary lakes that develop in Morocco every ten years or so, precedes the sound guide. Only on CD.

Media type: 

Visiting

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Ksar_Ghilane_Tunisia

Ksar Ghilane, Tunisia

Image Credit: 
Hichem Azafzaf

Birding tours

We know of no organised tours to Tunisia.

Logistics

The main airports for international flights are Tunis-Carthage, Monastir and Jerba. Tunis Air, the national airline, flies to a range of destinations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, but there are no direct flights between Tunisia and North or South America, Asia or Australia. Crossing by ferry from France or Italy is also a popular option. Tunisia has a well-developed internal transport network with buses, trains, taxis and a few domestic air links.

Safety

Tunisia is probably one of Africa's safer countries as witnessed by the large number of tourists who visit the country each year. It is however worth consulting your national foreign office websites for the latest safety and travel information before travelling. It is vital that you do not under-estimate the danger of being in the sun too long and it is worth using a sun-block and wearing a hat. You should also drink plenty of water, certainly a few litres a day. Tunisia is not a malaria zone nor are tropical diseases a concern.

Hotspots

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Bouhedma_National_Park_Tunisia

Bouhedma National Park, Tunisia

Image Credit: 
Hichem Azafzaf

Thyna Saltpans is immediately to the south of Sfax. The succession of shallow pools, of varying depth and salinity, provide prime habitat for waterbirds including Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber, Common Crane Grus grus, Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, Sanderling Calidris alba, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa, Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata, Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres, Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus and Little Tern Sterna albifrons.​

Bouhedma National Park situated 60 km south of Sidi Bouzid represents a unique ecosystem in Tunisia, the vegetation of the park being woodland in whichAcacia raddiana occurs in association with Periploca laevigata. The Bouhedma National Park supports several species including Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetosLanner Falcon Falco biarmicusLaughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensisPharaoh’s Eagle Owl Bubo ascalaphusRed-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus ruficollisRufous Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas galactotesMoussier’s Redstart Phoenicurus moussieriRed-rumped Wheatear Oenanthe moestaFulvous Babbler Turdoides fulva and Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis.

Desert wetlands of Jemna, Ghidma, Grad and Blidette are a small salty depression situated in the Douz region, surrounded by oases and sand-dunes, which hold many species including Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellusRuddy Shelduck Tadorna ferrugineaMarbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostrisFerruginous Duck Aythya nyrocaCream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursorEgyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptiusGreater Hoopoe-Lark Alaemon alaudipesWhite-crowned Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucopygaBlack-eared Wheatear O. hispanicaRed-rumped Wheatear O. moesta and Desert Wheatear O. deserti.

Species

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Country checklist and status

You can download and print a checklist for Tunisia.

See also The Birds of Tunisia - An annotated checklist Paul ISENMANN, Ali EL HILI, Hichem AZAFZAF, Habib DLENSI & Mike SMART.

Endemic species

There are no endemic species in Tunisia.

Near endemic species (found in 3 or less African countries)

Levaillant’s Woodpecker

Picus vaillantii

Moussier’s Redstart

Phoenicurus moussieri

Threatened species

Marbled Teal*

Marmaronetta angustirostris

Vulnerable

Ferruginous Duck*

Aythya nyroca

Vulnerable

White-headed Duck*

Oxyura leucocephala

Endangered

Lesser Kestrel*

Falco naumanni

Vulnerable

Saker Falcon

Falco cherrug

Endangered

Corncrake

Crex crex

Vulnerable

Houbara Bustard

Chlamydotis undulata

Vulnerable

Slender-billed Curlew

Numenius tenuirostris

Critical

* species occur regularly in Tunisia. See BirdLife International.

Important Bird Areas

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Sebkhet_Sedjoumi_Tunisia

Sebkhet Sedjoumi, Tunisia

Image Credit: 
Hichem Azafzaf
Sidi_Toui_NP_Tunisia

Sidi Toui NP, Tunisia

Image Credit: 
Hichem Azafzaf
Barrage_Lebna_Tunisia

Barrage Lebna, Tunisia

Image Credit: 
Hichem Azafzaf

Tunisia is a major area of concentration for migrants including soaring species like birds of prey, European White Stork Ciconia ciconia and Common Crane Grus grus. In spring they move northwards through the country, concentrating at El Haouaria at the tip of Cape Bon before continuing their 146 km journey across the Mediterranean to Italy. In this period up to 40,000 individuals of 23 species of raptor may be observed including threatened species such as Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus and Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni. In addition to this huge concentration, thousands of passerines cross Tunisia during the autumn and spring migrations and are observed in coastal areas and oases.

Salt-pans, like those at Thyna, are also of great importance for many tens of thousands of birds in the migration and wintering periods. Island biotopes, like the archipelagos of Galita and Zembra, provide refuge for Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae and Audouin’s Gull Larus audouinii.

A remarkable 46 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have been identified in Tunisia by BirdLife International covering 12,529 km2, equivalent to 7.6% of the land-surface area of the country. 16 sites are protected areas. 35 sites are inland or coastal wetlands and qualify as IBAs as a result of the number of waterbirds they hold. Representative species of both the Mediterranean North Africa biome with 16 species covered in 16 sites and the Sahara-Sindian biome with 13 species covered in 8 sites occur in Tunisia.

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