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Important Plant Areas of Tunisia

Number of IPAs: 13

Arid rocks face in background with palm trees in fore


Tunisia is located in North Africa at the junction of the two basins that make up the Mediterranean, between the Mashreq (the Arab East) and the Maghreb (the Arab West).The majority of IPAs are located in the north of the country. Most are characterized by a subhumid to humid Mediterranean climate. 10 of them have an average elevation below or around 500m, whereas three (Jbel Zaghouan, Jbel Ghorra, Aïn Zana) are in mountainous regions.


Wetland environments are well represented as they make up more than half the IPAs, in the form of permanent lakes (Ichkeul), semi-permanent lakes (Majen Chitane, Majen Choucha, etc.), temporary pools (Garâa Sejenane, Majen el Ma, Sraï el Majen, etc.), marshes (Ichkeul), and peat bogs based on Sphagnum or Osmunda (Kroumirie) or bracken (Dar el Orbi).

The Tunisian IPAs are also representative of the main forest and coastal habitat types of Tunisia. Coastal flora is represented on 3 IPAs; the La Galite Archipelago and the Zembra and Zembretta National Park, both rich in rare species and species endemic to Tunisia or North Africa, and Sidi Ali el Mekki. All 3 are particularly rich in endemics. 6 Tunisian IPAs contain national endemic or stenoendemic plant species.

Protections and Threats

Half of Tunisia’s IPAs lie fully or partly inside protected areas, namely the three national parks, three Ramsar sites, two biosphere reserves and four natural reserves. Of the 13 IPAs, 6 contain national endemics and 6 have species with restricted ranges, none contain more than 20 national endemics or stenoendemics.

The main threat to Tunisia’s IPAs is overgrazing, followed by climate change (causing wetlands to dry out), the pressure of tourism and leisure activities and fire. Drainage and water extraction are a specific threat to wetland IPAs.

Further information

IPA data

Data set

Important Plant Areas of the south-east Mediterranean region

Tunisia available on pages 31-35