Barrage al Mansour Ad-Dhabi, Morocco

Site Details
Assessment Details

Site Overview

KBA status: confirmed

Rationale for qualifying as KBA: This site qualifies as a Key Biodiversity Area of international significance that meets the thresholds for at least one criterion described in the Global Standard for the Identification of KBAs.

Global KBA criteria: A1d
Year of assessment: 2001
National site name: Barrage al Mansour Ad-Dhabi
Central coordinates: Lat: 30.93 Long: -6.77
System: Terrestrial, Freshwater
Altitude (m): 1,200 to 1,200
Area of KBA (ha): 3,799
Protected area coverage (%): 100

Text account

Year of compilation: 2001
Site description:

The site is located on the southern side of the High Atlas a few kilometres east of the town of Ouarzazate. It consists of a large reservoir formed in 1972 by the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Oued Drâa, near the confluence of the Oued Dadès and the Oued Ouarzazate. The reservoir is also fed by many small temporary side-streams. Where these enter the lake, the water is relatively shallow and dense vegetation of Cynodon dactylon, Cyperus spp., Juncus spp., Phragmites australis and Tamarix canariensis occurs. Elsewhere, the water depth drops off sharply, reaching 2–4 m deep only several metres from the rocky shore. Annual precipitation averages 1,500 mm.

Summary of threats to biodiversity at KBA:

The reservoir is a priority 2 SIBE (No. H42). It is public land, administered by AEFCS and the Service des Travaux Publics. Human activities include fishing, livestock-grazing and reed-cutting around the reservoir’s shores. The main threat is discharge of wastewater from the town of Ouarzazate into the eastern end of the reservoir, and consequent organic and chemical pollution. Nesting birds are also subject to human disturbance and poaching near the western end of the lake. Recommended measures include the protection of this nesting zone by the restriction of access during the breeding season, perhaps entailing fencing off the area.

Recommended citation

Key Biodiversity Areas Partnership (2023) Key Biodiversity Areas factsheet: Barrage al Mansour Ad-Dhabi. Extracted from the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas. Developed by the Key Biodiversity Areas Partnership: BirdLife International, IUCN, American Bird Conservancy, Amphibian Survival Alliance, Conservation International, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Global Environment Facility, Re:wild, NatureServe, Rainforest Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, World Wildlife Fund and Wildlife Conservation Society. Downloaded from on 29/11/2023.