Oued Massa has a rich mix of habitats and draws a fabulous array of birds. The sandbars are visited in the early morning by flocks of sandgrouse (black-bellied and spotted) and often shelter large numbers of cranes; the ponds and reedbed margins conceal various waders, such as black-tailed godwit, turnstone, dunlin and snipe, as well as the black-headed bush shrike (tschagra) and little crake; the deeper open waters provide feeding grounds for greater flamingo, spoonbill, white stork and black-winged stilt; and overhead the skies are patrolled by marsh harrier and osprey. The surrounding scrubby areas also hold black-headed bush shrike and a variety of nocturnal mammals such as Egyptian mongoose, cape hare and jackal, while Sidi Rbat has a local population of Mauritanian toads.

Twenty kilometres inland, the Barrage Youssef Ben Tachfine is an enormous freshwater reservoir where possible sightings include black wheatear and rock dove.