Tunisia, located on the north coast borders the Mediterranean Sea. Its coastline includes the mainland coast, the archipelago of La Galite (north), the islands Zembra and Zembretta in the eastern part of the Gulf of Tunis, the Kerkennah Islands in the east, the Kuriat islands and Djerba Island in the southeast and the Kneiss Islands in the Gulf of Gabes. Relatively good data exists for its seabird breeding colonies. Priority species include the Cory's Shearwater (LC), Audouin's Gull (NT), Caspian Tern (LC), Slender-billed Gull (LC) and Gull-billed Tern (LC). The ongoing SPAMI programme aims to obtain accurate estimations of shearwater numbers.
Key threats to Tunisian seabirds include
o Pollution, especially oil and chemicals from shipping
o Habitat loss
o Bycatch in longline fisheries
o Identification, mapping and surveying of the feeding areas of marine seabird species
o Research into the problem with bycatch and its impact on birds and fisheries
o Studying the movements and migration of seabirds involving the creation of a ringing and tracking programme for some species
o Monitoring the impact of predation by rats on breeding seabirds
o Extending capacity for data analysis
o Survey and monitoring of seabirds on La Galite islands
Government's support/relevant policy
All four identified marine IBAs are protected areas and Tunisia has recently strengthened its legal framework for the protection of Marine IBAs. The authority that is responsible for oil spill response is a National Committee consisting of representatives of different Ministries (e.g. the Ministry of National Defence, the Interior Ministry and the Local Development and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development).. The Coastal Protection and Land Management Agency (APAL) will provide assistance and technical advice with regards to the identification and protection of sensitive areas. Please see policy tab for list of agreements that this country is party to.
Petrels and shearwaters
Gulls and terns
Ducks, geese and swans
IUCN Red List Status
The numbers in brackets refer to the country's rank when compared to other countries and territories globally.
o Coll et al (2012) The Mediterranean Sea under siege: spatial overlap between marine biodiversity, cumulative threats and marine reserves Global Ecology and Biogeography, (Global Ecol. Biogeogr.) (2012) 21, 465
BirdLife International (2022) Country profile: Tunisia. Available from http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/country/tunisia. Checked: 2022-07-02