|Central coordinates||41o 50.00' East 11o 10.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i|
|Altitude||222 - 400m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This site is the eastern part of a saline lake that Djibouti shares with Ethiopia and is the largest permanent inland wetland in the country. The Ethiopian part of the lake is also an IBA, the Lake Abe wetland system (ET008). The lake is fed principally by the Awash river in Ethiopia as well as by a few small, temporary wadis which drain into the lake on the Djibouti side. The size of the lake has decreased by more than two-thirds in 50 years, due (it is thought) to an increasingly arid climate and the construction of dams on the Awash river in Ethiopia, to allow irrigated cotton cultivation. The north-eastern shore of the lake is bordered by rocky hills; on the eastern and southern shores, the land that used to be submerged under the lake has become ‘sebkha’ or saltpans. Several hot freshwater springs that once fed into the lake now emerge on these saltpans. Minerals crystallizing from the spring water have formed a series of chimneys that are now exposed, creating a bizarre landscape of some tourist interest. Some low vegetation has developed around the springs and a few of these areas are fenced off by local pastoralists for use as a dry season food source for livestock. Apart from these areas, and a few stands of Tamarix trees along the temporary wadi beds, the shoreline is virtually devoid of vegetation.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus||winter||1999||16,000 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor||winter||1999||600 individuals||poor||A1||Near Threatened|
|Spotted Sandgrouse Pterocles senegallus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Greater Hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Blackstart Cercomela melanura||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||2%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity The mammal Gazella dorcas pelzelni (VU) occurs on the lake shore and freshwater fish are reportedly present in the spring-fed watercourses.
References Comité National Pour l’Environnement (1991), Welch and Welch (1992), Magin (1999b).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lac Abhé. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/12/2013
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