Chott de Tinnsilt

Country/territory: Algeria

IBA Criteria met: A4i (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 1,000 ha

Site description
The Chott de Tinnsilt (‘Les Lacs’) lies about 60 km south of the town of Constantine in the depression between the coastal range of mountains to the north (the Petite Kabylie) and the Massif de l’Aurès to the south. It consists of a shallow basin fed by springs and rainwater run-off and fringed with Salicornia sp., and contains islands also covered in Salicornia sp. The southern end of the site runs into an extensive marsh around Chott Gadaine/Taricht, and lies very close to another wetland, Sebkhet Ez-Zemoul (site DZ012), from which it is separated by the main N3 road running south from Constantine to Batna. The water is saline and salt is harvested on the western shore of the basin: there are also abandoned salines to the south-east. Generally flat arable land and stony desert surround the site.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. Although there is only one count of Tadorna tadorna which exceeds the IBA threshold, this is a recent record and it seems likely that the site will prove to be regularly important for this species if repeat winter surveys are carried out. In the winter of 1991/92, significant numbers of Tadorna tadorna were also counted on the neighbouring wetland, Sebkhet Ez-Zemoul (site DZ012). It is likely that birds move between these two sites due to their proximity and the fact that they may be disturbed from Sebkhet Ez-Zemoul by hunting. Other wintering ducks include Anas penelope (up to 3,000), A. crecca (up to 5,500), A. acuta (2,400) and A. clypeata (up to 2,000). Other species observed wintering on the site in 1991 included 34 Phoenicopterus ruber. There were also several hundred ‘small waders’ Calidris/Charadrius spp. on this site, combined with the connected marsh (Gadaine/Taricht) to the south, including c.900 Calidris minuta and c.70 Charadrius alexandrinus on Gadaine/Taricht. Numenius tenuirostris was also reported from nearby Chott Gadaine in 1989 (no information on numbers), but the record remains unconfirmed.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chott de Tinnsilt. Downloaded from on 27/01/2022.