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Location Cyprus, Larnaca District
Central coordinates 33o 36.97' East  34o 52.79' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 2,147 ha
Altitude 0 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2012

BirdLife Cyprus



Summary Larnaca Salt Lakes are a series of salt lagoons and associated mud flats and open areas dominated by halophytic vegetation. The site is largely surrounded by built-up areas on its landward side and is bisected by the airport, while sewage pools to the East of the airport area have become an important addition to the natural lagoons. It is a congregation site for waterbirds in winter and spring, attracting wintering and breeding waterbirds. 

Site description The IBA covers four salt-lakes, which dry out in summer, surrounding agricultural land and Salicornia scrub. The north-eastern corner of the site borders the suburbs of Larnaca and several military camps, whilst Larnaca International Airport adjoins on the eastern side (one of the lakes is bisected by a runway).

Key Biodiversity The site is very important for wintering waterbirds and as a resting-place for many species of waterbirds, waders and passerines during migration. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Branta ruficollis (wintering), Circus macrourus (passage).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus breeding  2005-2011  < 50 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna winter  2005-2011  500-1,500 individuals  medium  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala winter  2005-2011  1-4 individuals  good  A1, C1  Endangered 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  2005-2011  1,000-9,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Egretta garzetta passage  2005-2011  100-600 individuals  medium  B1i, C2  Not Recognised 
Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo passage  2005-2011  20-60 individuals  medium  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Crane Grus grus passage  2005-2011  100-1,000 individuals  medium  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus breeding  2005-2011  10-40 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Not Recognised 
Charadrius alexandrinus passage  2005-2011  150-500 individuals  medium  B1i, C2  Not Recognised 
Charadrius alexandrinus breeding  2005-2011  18-32 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Not Recognised 
Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus breeding  2005-2011  1-15 breeding pairs  medium  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2005-2011  20-40 individuals  medium  C1  Near Threatened 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola passage  2005-2011  50-300 individuals  medium  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra breeding  2005-2011  < 50 breeding pairs  poor  C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2005-2011  9,000-20,000 individuals  medium  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed not assessed
  unset
Poor - based on little, or potentially unreliable/unrepresentative, data

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive and other problematic species and genes problematic native species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (unknown use) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution garbage & solid waste happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors flight paths happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
ALYKES LARNAKAS CY6000002 Birds Directive 1,560 protected area contained by site 1,560  
ALYKES LARNAKAS CY6000002 Habitats Directive 1,560 protected area contained by site 1,560  
Larnaca Salt Lake Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 1,585 protected area contained by site 1,585  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Salt marshes  36%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Other urban and industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards and groves; Urban parks and gardens  55%
Grassland   9%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 20%
urban/industrial/transport 10%
nature conservation and research 70%

Protection status National High International None678 ha of IBA covered by Permanent Game Reserve (Larnaca Lake, 678 ha). 1,172 ha of IBA covered by Temporary Game Reserve.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Larnaca Salt Lakes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2014

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