Country/territory: Tunisia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 100 ha

Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux"
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2009 medium very unfavourable medium
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
This semi-permanent wetland is situated 15 km west of Douz, 5 km from Douz Laâla (TN040), and consists of a depression holding brackish water. It is bordered to the east by the Ghidma oasis and by sand-dunes to the west and south. The site is fed with water by drainage from the nearby oases, and possibly from freshwater springs. Water depth varies from 1 m in winter to less than 30 cm in summer. Phragmites communis and Tamarix africana are found along the shores, and it has some of the densest vegetation of any of the Djerid oases.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. Ghidma—like Sebkhet Nouaïel (site TN039), Douz Laâla (TN040) and Snam (TN041)—is a small wetland adjoining the small oases near the Chott Djerid south of Kebili. These wetlands (often called ‘guelta’ rather than ‘sebkha’ by local people) are normally small and situated just outside the oases. They are fed by run-off of artesian, fairly saline, oasis-water after it has been used for irrigation. In some cases, this artesian water is apparently supplemented by local springs, so that the water is fresher and the vegetation thicker, and water may last throughout the summer; in most however, the water evaporates and the site becomes dry in summer. These sites are very important nationally for wintering waterbird populations: in particular, it seems that the Tunisian breeding population of Marmaronetta angustirostris winters in these oasis sites, together with good numbers of Aythya nyroca, Plegadis falcinellus, and a variety of waders, notably such species as Charadrius dubius, Tringa glareola and Philomachus pugnax, which generally cross the Sahara in winter. The sites are of major importance in spring for northward-moving trans-Saharan migrants of all kinds, which need food and drink after their desert crossing. In some years, especially wet ones, the sites may also be of importance for breeding species, including Tadorna ferruginea and Marmaronetta angustirostris. In addition, six species of the Sahara–Sindian biome have been recorded in and around these small wetlands (see Table 2).Ghidma is a particularly good example of this kind of wetland. It is a breeding site for Tadorna ferruginea and Fulica atra. Other waterbirds include Casmerodius albus, Ardea purpurea, Himantopus himantopus, Gallinula chloropus, Charadrius dubius and C. alexandrinus.

Non-bird biodiversity: Both the ungulates Gazella dorcas (VU) and Gazella leptoceros (EN) have been recorded.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ghidma. Downloaded from on 03/02/2023.