The site lies about 30 km south-east of the town of Sétif (south-west of Constantine) in the depression between the Petite Kabylie mountains to the north and the Monts du Hodna to the south. It consists of a shallow pan with a clay and silt bottom and some open water. Most of the sebkhets dry out between June and October, although the more easterly ones can retain water for up to two years. There is a fringe of Salicornia sp. along the western shore, some Juncus sp. and a substantial marshy area, including saltmarsh, to the north-east where a freshwater stream flows into the basin in winter. The basin is surrounded by arable farmland and there is some hunting.
See Box for key species. There is a report of 90 Numenius tenuirostris in 1989 that would make this site the most important known wintering ground for the species in recent years, but the record remains unconfirmed. Other birds using the site in winter include small numbers of a variety of duck, such as Anas penelope (2,000 in 1990), A. crecca (1,920 in 1992), A. platyrhynchos, A. acuta, and A. clypeata (1,500 in 1999) and waders including Recurvirostra avocetta, Vanellus vanellus, Philomachus pugnax, Numenius arquata and up to 900 mixed Charadrius and Calidris spp. (mostly Calidris alpina). A total of nearly 8,000 waterbirds was recorded on the site in 1992.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sebkhet Baker. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2020.