Country/territory: Libya

IBA criteria met: A3 (2001)
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Area: 100,000 ha

Site description (2001 baseline)
This site is situated in the interior of Libya, almost due south of Tripoli and north and west of the oasis town of Sabha. It consists of gently rolling sand-dunes of the Ramlat Zallaf (Azzallaf) system at the eastern end of the great Awbari (Aubari) Erg. Wetlands form in depressions where the water-table is close to the surface, including sebkha saltmarshes and permanent standing pools. Around damp areas and on pool-edges grow Phragmites australis and Juncus spp. with Ammophila spp. grasses in drier parts. The flora is entirely Saharan in character and dominant species include Calligonum comosum, Nitraria retusa, Anabasis articulata, Acacia spp., Euphorbia spp. and Fagonia spp., along with date-palm Phoenix dactylifera, Zizyphus lotus and Tamarix africana.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 2 for key species. There are two breeding records of Aythya nyroca from a pool near Askhikah, to the east of the town of Birak (Brak), and up to 100 have been recorded wintering in the area in the past. There have been no avifaunal surveys of the reserve since its notification and its importance therefore requires confirmation. However, there are detailed records from its vicinity from habitats represented within the reserve. The valleys of the area are also important for resting migratory birds, including passerines and waterfowl.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Zallaf. Downloaded from on 04/10/2023.