Réserve Intégrale du Lac El Mellah

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Réserve Intégrale du Lac El Mellah

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    2,257 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    36°53'N 08°20'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Réserve intégrale du Lac El Mellah. 12/12/04; El Tarf; 2,257 ha; 36°53'N 008°20'E. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. A lagoon, linked by a 900m-long canal to the sea, that is part of the El Kala complex of wetland depressions. The site also comprises a small brackish delta with Salicornia and Juncus spp. and a smaller temporary freshwater lake which is fed by precipitation and groundwater and surrounded by a complex of sand dunes. The site is important for numerous waterbirds that use it as a staging and resting site during their migration, feeding site taking advantage of the abundant supplies of fish, invertebrates and bivalves, or nesting site. The salinity gradient and high productivity in the lagoon contributes to high phytoplankton, zooplankton and fish biodiversity, and it acts as a nursery and growing site for especially eels, before they travel to the Sargasso Sea. Thus its most important socio-economic role is in the provision of employment for fishermen. Local people also grow peanuts and raise livestock, which has caused over-grazing in some areas. With Ramsar sites Lacs Oubeïra and Tonga, El Mellah is part of the El Kala Biosphere Reserve. Ramsar site no. 1424. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Administrative region: 
Wilaya d’El Tarf

  • Global international designation: 
    • UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
  • National legal designation: 
    • Reserve Integrale
    • National Park
  • Last publication date: 


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