|Location||Egypt, North Sinai|
|Central coordinates||33o 0.00' East 31o 9.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Lake Bardawil is a shallow (50–300 cm deep), hyper-saline lagoon occupying much of the Mediterranean coast of Sinai. It is separated from the sea by a sandbar that varies in width between 100 m and 1 km. The lake shore is mainly bare sand, with scattered saltmarsh and mudflats. The sandy lake-bottom is covered by scattered patches of algae Ruppia.Originally, Bardawil was connected to the sea via one small natural inlet at its eastern extremity (Bughaz Zaranik), usually becoming inundated with seawater only during winter when storms often breached the unstable sandbar. During summer, most of the lake was isolated from the sea and water evaporated, leaving behind large areas of sabkha. Several man-made inlets have been dredged along the sandbar since 1905 in an effort to allow the permanent inundation of the lagoon and maintenance of salinity levels suitable for the development of fisheries. Today, there are two man-made inlets (Bughaz I, II), which are continually being blocked through sedimentation. Bardawil is the source of an important local fishery, producing over 2,500 tonnes annually (1987 figure), mostly of the high-value saltwater fish Sparus auratus and Mugil sp., and employing some 3,000 fishermen. Fishing is suspended between January and May, in order to allow fish stocks to recuperate.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus||winter||-||13,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo||winter||-||5,000-30,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus||passage||-||present||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Corncrake Crex crex||passage||-||present||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Charadrius alexandrinus||breeding||-||1,900 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Not Recognised|
|Little Tern Sternula albifrons||breeding||-||1,200 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||-||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Bardawil Lake||Natural Area||60,000||protected area contains site||59,500|
|Lake Bardawil||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||59,500||is identical to site||59,500|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity Reptiles: The Mediterranean shore of the lake is of potential importance for the nesting of two sea-turtles, Caretta caretta (EN) and Chelonia mydas (EN). Islets and dunes adjacent to the lake represent some of the last remaining habitats where extremely small populations of the tortoise Testudo kleinmanni (EN) might still exist. Mammals: Vulpes zerda (DD) still inhabits adjacent dunes in low density.
References Baha el Din (1994), Baha el Din and Salama (1991), Dunnet et al. (1986), Meininger and Atta (1994), Varty et al. (1990).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Bardawil. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/09/2014
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