Grotte karstique de Ghar Boumâaza
- Site number:1297
- Area:20,000 ha
- Designation date:06-04-2003
- Coordinates:34°40'N 01°22'W
The Site is a representative example of a continental wetland including a karstic subterranean hydrological system, a wetland type which is rare and under-represented in the Ramsar List. The Ghar Boumâaza caverns, the largest known underground cave network in Algeria and Africa, follow the river Tafna under the Tlemcen Mountains; some 15.5 km have been explored so far. The caverns boast spectacular corridors, high chambers, basins, stalactites and stalagmites. The Site hosts the endangered Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus and the peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus. The permanent presence of water has favoured the establishment of small villages and enabled irrigation and grazing despite the semi-arid climate. However, overgrazing and the uncontrolled uprooting of esparto grass Stipa tenacissima for plaiting into handicraft items have denuded the soil.
- Last publication date:06-04-2018