Sebkha Zima

Country/territory: Morocco

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

Area: 600 ha

Protection status:

Groupe de Recherche pour la Protection des Oiseaux au Maroc

Site description
A large, but temporary, inland wetland lying south-east of Safi near the town of Chemaia, Sebkha Zima lies in a depression and is fed by several rain-dependent streams. The substrate is saline, with around 40% of the bed of the sebkha given over to saltpans, and the wetland is surrounded by a belt of halophytic vegetation. During wet periods a thick cover of filamentous algae develops on soil surfaces, attracting large numbers of waterbirds. However, the Sebkha is often dry by the end of June. Average annual precipitation is 150–200 mm.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. In wet years Sebkha Zima can attract up to 10,000 wintering waterbirds. Several ducks are regularly seen in flocks numbering over 1,000, including Anas penelope, Anas clypeata, Tadorna tadorna and Anas acuta. Waders such as Calidris and Tringa spp. also visit and winter, as do flocks of Larus spp. numbering several hundred. Only a few species breed, among them Charadrius alexandrinus, Himantopus himantopus and Gelochelidon nilotica.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sebkha Zima. Downloaded from on 29/11/2020.