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Zembra (Tunisian Arabic: زمبرة Zimbra) is a Tunisian island. The island is a 432 metres (1,417 feet) tall rock formation, and as such contains many 400 metre-high cliffs. It has an area of 369 hectares (912 acres). Located 15 kilometres (9 miles) from Sidi Daoud and 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the port of La Goulette, it is a natural extension of the peninsula of Cap Bon. Zembra is a natural fortress that housed a resort until 1976 and then passed into the hands of the Tunisian army. On the southern coast there are remains of an ancient harbour. The island has a Mediterranean climate.
Zembra has a fragile ecosystem and has been classified as a protected area by UNESCO since 1977. The island's vegetation consists of about 266 plant species which are distributed according to topography of land. The native soils include rock, clay, sand and magnesium lime. The flora is characterised by a canopy of dense bush, including olive and Phoenician juniper and gorse, and the presence of rare plants which favour of saline soils. There are also invertebrates and terrestrial mammals introduced by man, such as rabbit, Corsican sheep, black rat and feral cat. In addition, Zembra is located on an avian migration route between Tunisia and the Strait of Sicily, and hosts more than 25,000 pairs of migrating birds which nest in the rocky cliffs. The island is home to the largest colony of shearwaters in the Mediterranean. Dolphins are also common in the waters surrounding the island.
- Directory of marine and coastal protected areas in the Mediterranean region, MAP technical reports series n°26, éd. Programme des Nations unies pour l'environnement, Nairobi, 1989, p. 151 (in French)
- Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica, §A42.3
- Ptolemaeus, Geography, §4.3.44
- Strabo, Geography, §2.5.19
- Pliny the Elder, Natural History, §5.7.1
- Online report of monitoring of flora on the archipelago Zembra and Zembretta Archived 2013-12-30 at the Wayback Machine (in French)
- A rich biological reserve and the presence of rare species in Tunisia[permanent dead link] La Presse de Tunisie, 26 September 2006 (in French and Arabic)
- (in French) Michel Prieur, La mise en œuvre nationale du droit international de l'environnement dans les pays francophones : actes des troisièmes journées scientifiques du Réseau droit de l'environnement de l'Agence universitaire de la francophonie, Yaoundé, Cameroun, 14-15 juin 2001, éd. Presses universitaires de Limoges, Limoges, 2003, p. 461 (in French)
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