|Central coordinates||32o 15.00' East 30o 20.00' North|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Before the construction last century of the Suez Canal, the Bitter Lakes were relatively small, hyper-saline inland lakes, with a salinity of up to 161 g/l, surrounded by salt-encrusted sabkha. After the lakes were connected with both the Mediterranean and the Red Seas by the Suez Canal, they became a single marine body, their size increased and salinity decreased, reaching between 43 and 46 g/l in 1972. The northern, wider end of this water-body is known as the Great Bitter Lake, while the southern, narrower part is known as the Little Bitter Lake. The bottom is sandy and scantily covered with vegetation. Agricultural land, tourist developments and scattered areas of saltmarsh border the lakes on the western side, while the eastern side is mostly sandy desert. Drainage from recent agricultural development on the Sinai side of the Suez Canal has created a fairly large Typha and Phragmites marsh at the north-western corner of the Great Bitter Lake. There are a number of low sandy islets and spits in the Little Bitter Lake and scattered along the eastern side of the lakes.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Slender-billed Gull Larus genei||winter||-||3,065 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
References Meininger and Atta (1994), Vadiya and Shenuda (1985).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bitter Lakes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/08/2014
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