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Lake Profile

Tonga, Lac

General Information

Description Lake Tonga, together with Lake Oubeira, is part of the larger El Kala wetland system - a mosaic of wetlands including sea inlets, lakes, rivers, wet forest, marshes, sand dunes and alder thickets. The El Kala complex is generally recognised as one of the four major wetland complexes in the Western Mediterranean. This seasonal freshwater lake is linked to the Mediterranean Sea. There have been two unsuccessful attempts to drain the lake this century.
Country Algeria
Latitude 36° 53' 0" (36.8833)
Longitude 8° 31' 0" (8.5167)


 Africa Lake Biodiversity Conservation Priorities 2003

Physical Characteristics

Depth Mean depth: 2.0 m
Type Fresh


Economic Value Human activities around the lake include eel farming, livestock grazing, and seasonal cultivation.
Major Cities

Watershed Management

Description Management issues include regulating eel fishing and irrigation draw down, and restoring the lake’s natural hydrological functions.
Issues There has been a significant decrease in the water supply to the lake, thus causing changes to its ecological character. Water drawdown resulted in the lake surface being covered with emergent aquatic plants, leaving little open water. Poaching, eel fishing and unsustainable water withdrawals for irrigation are threats to Lake Tonga's health.
Other Issues Irrigation

Biodiversity Conservation

Description Lake Tonga provides important habitat for extensive beds of aquatic plants and nesting sites for several rare and globally threatened waterbirds. It is an important breeding area for such rare waterfowl as Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca), White-headed Duck and Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio porphyrio). It attracts a rich and varied population of many birds of prey. (Ramsar Annotated List & Ramsar Advisory Missions: Report 21, 1990)
Designations LakeNet Biodiversity Priority
Ramsar Site
Species of Concern



Biodiversity Conservation of the World's Lakes: A Preliminary Framework for Identifying Priorities
Profile of Ramsar sites in Algeria
Ramsar Advisory Missions: Report No. 21, Algeria (1990)

Additional Data Sources

Duker, L. and L. Borre. 2001. Biodiversity conservation of the world's lakes: a preliminary framework for identifying priorities. LakeNet Report Series Number 2. Annapolis, Maryland USA.
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The List of Wetlands of International Importance.

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