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Location Haiti, Departement de l'Ouest
Central coordinates 72o 2.00' West  18o 34.50' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 13,241 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Site description Lac Azuéi, also called Etang saumâtre (Brackish Pond) is the largest water body in Haiti (113 km2 30 meter deep). Located at between N18°29 - 18° 38 and W71°52 - 72°04 (Edouarzin, 2004), it lies west of the Cul-de-Sac plain near the Haitan-Dominican border, in the Neiba-Cul-de-Sac depression. It separates the north and south paleoisland and is an important part of the Lago Enriquillo - Trou Caiman wetland/ecoregion of outstanding biological value. It is exploited by more than 300 fishermen, by hunters for migratory ducks and flamingos (for trophies). Very close to the transnational road in the Malpasse area, the lake is unfortunately polluted. It is used as a solid waste area. At the immigration/emigration post in Malpasse, numerous male travelers use it as a rest area at the immigration. Population around the lake consists of permanent dwellers and travelers. Resident population is estimated at more than 60,000 from the localities of Ganthier, Thomazeau, Fond Parizien and Malpasse living of agriculture in a subtropical dry zone irrigated by the rivers that drains in the lake (Riviere Blanche and Thomazeau). Its proximity to Port-au-Prince and to the Dominican Republic is an opportunity to develop an ecotourism program as proposed by the Ministry of Environment and the FONDTAH (Fondation pour le Developpement du Tourisme Alternatif en Haiti) during the first binational fair in Fonds Parisien (20 novembre au 5 decembre 2004).

Key Biodiversity This area is important for flamingo migration and Caribbean Coots. Although West Indian Whistling Duck is reported, its presence needs to be confirmed with recent inventories. Most recent reports were only done in June 2003. They report 80 to 100 flamingos and 250 to 300 Caribbean Coots.

Non-bird biodiversity: The waters of the lake include 9 species of fish (5 endemics, Tilapia and Carps introduced) and American Crocodiles and an endemic turtle that usually hides in the mangrove as well as other crustaceous not identified yet.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Fulica caribaea resident  2003  250-300 individuals  poor  A1  Not Recognised 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes & pools  major
Shrubland Scrub  minor
Forest Mangrove  minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting major
Notes: It is exploited by more than 300 fishermen, by hunters for migratory ducks and flamingos (for trophies).
other major
Notes: It is used as a solid waste area.
urban/industrial/transport minor
agriculture minor

Protection status Listed by Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development as a "to be protected area", but not protected.

Acknowledgements Florence Sergile. Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. University of Florida

Further web sources of information 

Site profile from Important Bird Areas in the Caribbean: key sites for conservation (BirdLife International 2008)

References Crouze (2003);Edouazin(2004);Wiley and Wiley (1979); Thorbjarnarson (1988);Ottenwalser et al. (1990)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lac Azuéi. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife