Name of organisation
WWF North Africa
Number of staff
Overall aims of the centre
Promotion of the values of wetlands in particular the Ghar el Melh lagoon complex.
Description of the centre
Ghar el Melah was declared a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar site) in 2007, while the city of Ghar el Melah received the first Ramsar City Award in 2018. The wetland covers more than 15,000 ha and includes a range of habitats from forest classification through scrub to low overgrazed scrub with sand deposits and rocky habitat on the peninsula, as well as a range of habitats of varying salinity on the plain, from salt marshes to dunes to agricultural land and a small number of water bodies. The area supports over 230 species of vascular plants. Of the 7 species of amphibians in Tunisia, 5 are found in this area. Of these species reported with certainty, only the Berber toad, Sclerophrys mauritanicus, is common and even abundant in the study area. All other species are rare and some of them are threatened with extinction on a global scale, such as Pleurodeles nebulosus which is vulnerable. The reptile population of Ghar El Melh is rich and diverse, with 16 of the 17 species confirmed; the total species richness present in this area represents about 28% of the total number of species in Tunisia. A total of 51 species of waterbirds belonging to 12 families were observed during the winter surveys from 2008 to 2019. The families Scolopacidae, Anatidae and Rallidae were the most represented with a total of more than 77% of the birds recorded during the winter surveys. The most numerous species were Calidris alpina (Dunlin) with an annual average of 4031.5 individuals (the highest number of this species was counted in 2018) and Fulica atra (Coot) with an annual average of 2181.3 individuals.
Main CEPA work area
Celebration of World Wetlands Day
Top three successes
Celebration of Wetlands Day, development of the site governance model and mobilisation of key stakeholders (municipality, DGF and APAL) Ramsar City accreditation
Top three challenges
Mobilization of local population due to urgent socio-economic needs and limiting urban development that is gaining ground in the wetland, strengthening the enforcement of wetland protection laws
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