Monday, August 20, 2007

Wetlands of International Importance: Algeria, Chott Ech Chergui

Chott Ech Cherguialgeria-chergui5.jpg (17491 bytes)

Designated for the Ramsar List 02/02/01; Saïda; 855,500 ha; 34º27’N 000º50’E.

The second largest chott in North Africa, after the Chott Djerid in Tunisia: an extensive closed depression containing permanent and seasonal saline, brackish, and freshwater lakes and pools, as well as hot springs. The site is representative of the Mediterranean region in the diversity of habitats which are included, from steppe areas that are always green to the surroundings of the chott and the "sebkhas" which are completely without vegetation, as well as purely aquatic lake and marsh vegetation. Many threatened and vulnerable plant species are present, as well as at least two vulnerable species of Anatidae, and it is an important nesting and wintering site for several species of migratory waterbirds. Human uses include agriculture, and raising of livestock, particularly sheep and camels; the thermal springs offer possibilities for tourism. Overgrazing, poaching, desertification, and deforestation for firewood are seen as potential threats. Ramsar site no. 1052.

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