The site consists of a series of spring-fed lakes, pools and swamplands, together with surrounding habitats, centred around the town of Ghat, close to the Algerian border in the south-west of the country. The town is situated under the western slopes of Jabal Akakus, an eastern outlier of the Tassili mountains stretching from Algeria into southern Libya. There are three permanent, spring-fed lakes at Tin Djeraben, one at Habschat, and three at Feuet and numerous pools and areas of natural swampland at Al Birket (Al Barcat), 12 km south of Ghat. There is also a large sebkha which holds water after rainstorms. The pools and swamps of Al Birket support many emergent plants such as Juncus spp., Phragmites australis, Scirpus holoschoenus and Typha capensis, as well as submerged and floating species including Ceratophyllum demersum, Potamogeton spp. and Utricularia spp. Several species of Chara are abundant in the pools. Away from the areas of surface water there is transition to thorn scrub and open rocky and sandy desert. Much of the natural vegetation in these areas of transition have been cleared for agriculture.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. In addition, Aythya nyroca, Circus macrourus and Falco naumanni have been recorded on passage.
Non-bird biodiversity: Three species of fish occur naturally in the pools: Barbus deserti (type-locality), Clarias lazera and Hemichromis bimaculatus.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
There is great pressure on the remaining areas of natural vegetation of the oasis as a result of expanding agriculture, particularly date-palm plantations.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ghat oases. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 25/09/2022.