National park of Ichkeul
The national park of Ichkeul (rear RTL المحميةالوطنيةإشكل) is a natural site located at the north of the Tunisia, more precisely with 25 kilometers in the south-east of Bizerte in the governorship of the same name.
It is registered with the world heritage UNESCO since 1980 while answering the following criterion: “to contain the natural habitats most representative and most important for the conservation in situ of biological diversity, including those where survive of the species threatened having an exceptional universal value from the point of view of science or conservation”.
It is about a wetland being used as wintering for 180 species of birds of which some are rare. It is formed of the Lac Ichkeul of a surface of 50 km ², Marais and a mountainous solid mass culminating with 510 meters of altitude. The lake offers the characteristic to be supplied with 6 Oued S in Fresh water during the Hiver and to be connected to the Mediterranean via the Lac of Bizerte (by the channel of Tinja) during the summer, which strongly increases the Salinité of its water. The lake is the ultimate vestige of a chain of lakes which extended formerly through the North Africa.
This space is one of the most important ornithological reserves of North Africa. It accommodates a fauna and a varied Flore. Thus, one can count between 200 and: 400000 birds during the winter of which rare species, such as the Talève sultana, the Marmaronette marbled, and of the current species like the Greylag goose, the wild Duck, the Stork or the Pink flamingo. The lake lodges a plant, the Potamogéton, which is used as basic food with the birds. The lake, as well as the marshes, in addition accommodate species of Poisson S with brackish water. The mountainous solid mass Calcaire is covered by olive-trees and mastic trees.
The park has baths dating from the Moyen-âge and still used by some inhabitants.
However, the site is threatened by construction of Barrage S on the rivers upstream, which accentuates the salinity of water and disturbs the ecosystem. A lock is supposed to help with better controlling the fresh water contributions. The site remains protected by modesty from the installations of reception limited to small écomusée like with some paths from Randonnée. In 1996, the site is registered on the list of the world heritage in danger because of an increase in the salinity of its water which threatens of the hundreds of thousands of migratory birds. An emergency project is implemented by UNESCO to protect the site by developing a plan from follow-up for the park, by putting in place a new strategy of management and while leading to better a management and use of the hydraulic resources of the site. The Tunisian authorities put an end to the agricultural use of water of the lake, reducing salinity and allowing the return of many species of birds in the park. This project made it possible to withdraw the park of the list of the world heritage in danger in 2006.
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