The site lies in the Petite Kabylie mountain range, 60 km east of the town of Bejaïa, c.100 km north-east of Sétif and 30 km south-west of the coastal town of Jijel. The site lies within the large (10,500 ha) forest of Guerrouch and its northern end consists of a 9 km stretch of the Mediterranean coast. The climate is humid Mediterranean, with annual precipitation of 1,000–1,400 mm and an annual mean temperature of 18°C, with temperatures below freezing very rarely recorded. The principal tree species are Quercus canariensis, Q. afares (dominant at higher altitudes) and Q. suber (dominant at lower altitudes), together with Alnus glutinosa, Prunus avium, Salix pedicellata, Fraxinus angustifolia and Acer monspessulanum.
See Box for key species. The only information available concerns the population of Sitta ledanti, discovered in 1989 and estimated at 350 individuals (by extrapolation from those forest areas surveyed). The species is widespread in Quercus spp. woodlands of different composition between 350 m and 1,121 m altitude, probably also outside the limits of the National Park. This is a significantly larger population than that on Djebel Babor (once thought to be the only location for the species; see site DZ021).
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The population of Sitta ledanti in this site is considered well protected because of the status of the site as a National Park and the high quality and extent of the forest habitats within the park. There is also the possibility that further populations of the species will be found in other, adjacent forest areas within the Petite Kabylie where there are large stands of Quercus canariensis.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Taza. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 22/10/2019.