As a habitat for more than 100 species of birds, Merja Zerga Nature Preserve in Morocco is one of the most important wetland sites in North Africa. The large tidal lagoon is fed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Oued Drader, a freshwater stream. The area has been designated as a biological preserve and has served as host site for the Ramsar Convention, an organization dedicated to the conservation of wetlands worldwide.
The area surrounding Merja Zerga was populated during Phoenician times and during the Roman period. During the Islamic period, a religious leader named Moulay Bousalham established a base there. Now, the small village that is nearest the preserve is named after this Muslim holy man. It’s a quiet, agricultural area whose main crops include strawberries and watermelons. (more…)