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Lake Profile


General Information

Description Ichkeul is the only natural lake left in Tunisia, but once was part of a chain of lakes that crossed Northern Africa. The Ichkeul lake and wetland are a major stopover point for hundreds of thousands of migrating birds, such as ducks, geese, storks and pink flamingoes, who come to feed and nest there. The lake is surrounded by large areas of marsh.
Country Tunisia
Latitude 37° 10' 0" (37.1667)
Longitude 9° 40' 0" (9.6667)


 Africa Lake Biodiversity Conservation Priorities 2003

Physical Characteristics

Description Ichkeul sits in an endorheic basin. In other words, it is a lake with no outlet.

Average salinity in the lake is 13.5%. The lake receives inflow from Bizerte Lagoon.

Surface Area 120.00 km2
Depth Mean depth: 1.0 m
Origin Shorelines
Type Saline


Economic Value
Major Cities

Watershed Management

Description Major studies are underway to identify appropriate actions to slow the "salinization" of Ichkeul and to protect remaining surrounding marsh areas.
Issues Significant dams are being built on three tributaries flowing into the lake. Reductions in freshwater flowing into the lake are reducing the lake's large waterfowl population. Until construction of the dams, Lake Ichkeul was "the most important meeting place of water avifauna in the whole Mediterranean area." (Limnology in Developing Countries, Volume 1. Eds. Brij Gopal & Robert Wetzel. 1995).
Other Issues Irrigation

Biodiversity Conservation

Designations LakeNet Biodiversity Priority
Ramsar Site
Biosphere Reserve
Species of Concern



Biodiversity Conservation of the World's Lakes: A Preliminary Framework for Identifying Priorities
Ichkeul Ramsar Fact Sheet
UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve

Additional Data Sources

Birkett, C., and I. Mason. 1995. A new global lakes database for remote sensing programme studying climatically sensitive large lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 21 (3) 307-318.
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.
Gopal, B. and R. Wetzel. 1995. Limnology in Developing Countries Vol. 1. International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology (SIL). International Scientific Publications. New Delhi, India.

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