Metbassta is a small shallow wetland near Kairouan in the immediate vicinity of Kelbia (site TN020), to whose catchment it belongs. It is essentially fresh and may, like Oued Sed (site TN018), be fed by freshwater springs, as well as by the Oued Marguellil and the Oued Nebhana. It may dry out completely in summer.
See Box for key species. It is also a wintering site for Casmerodius albus, Plegadis falcinellus, Phoenicopterus ruber, Anser anser, Tadorna tadorna, Anas penelope, A. clypeata, A. crecca, A. strepera, Aythya ferina and Fulica atra. The plains around the lake are used as a roosting site by Grus grus. Numenius tenuirostris was recorded here in November 1992. In addition, eight species of the Mediterranean North Africa biome (A01) have been recorded (see Table 2).
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The site is a Hunting Reserve, but poaching occurs.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Metbassta. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 11/04/2021.