|Location||Egypt, Kafr El Sheikh|
|Central coordinates||30o 50.00' East 31o 29.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The Protected Area is composed primarily of Lake Burullus, a large, shallow, fresh-to-brackish coastal lagoon located between the two Nile branches forming the delta. It is elongate in shape extending for c.54 km from east to west with a width of 6–21 km and an estimated average depth of 75–100 cm. The lake is separated from the sea by a broad, dune-covered sandbar, which varies in width from a few hundred meters in the east to 5 km in the west. There are some 50 islands scattered throughout the lake with a total area of 0.7 km². On average, 50–70 million m³ of slightly saline, nutrient-rich water enters the lake annually from the south via six drains. Bughaz El Burullus, located in the north-east corner of the lake, is the only direct connection between Burullus and the Mediterranean. Salinity in the lake decreases towards the south and west as the distance from the Bughaz increases, becoming fresh near the outflows of drains and canals that flow into the lake from the south. Consequently, the north shores of the lake are dominated by saltmarshes and mudflats, while the southern shore is bordered by an extensive fringe of reed-swamps (mainly Phragmites and Typha), which currently covers more than 25% of the lake area. Lake Burullus has abundant submerged vegetation, dominated by Potamogeton, which is densest in the southern portion of the lake. Burullus is by far the least disturbed and damaged of the delta wetlands and its environs still retain some aspects of wilderness, which have been lost throughout most of the delta.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Burullus is one of Egypt’s most important wetland for wintering waterfowl, holding a total of 98,887 in winter 1989/90, the second-largest concentration recorded in Egypt that winter. The lake supports the largest numbers of some wintering waterfowl in the country, including Anas penelope, Anas clypeata, Aythya nyroca, Aythya ferina, Fulica atra and Tringa totanus. Burullus is one of the most important wintering grounds for Aythya nyroca in the eastern Mediterranean. Because of its relative isolation, Burullus is also an important breeding site for several waterbirds and wetland species. About 35 species of birds are known to breed, of which the most prominent are Tachybaptus ruficollis, Ixobrychus minutus, Porphyrio porphyrio, Sterna albifrons, Charadrius alexandrinus, Vanellus spinosus, Glareola pratincola, Caprimulgus aegyptius, Ceryle rudis, Centropus senegalensis and Acrocephalus stentoreus. The endemic delta subspecies of Calandrella rufescens (Calandrella rufescens nicolli) probably has its largest population in the vicinity of Burullus.
Non-bird biodiversity: Reptiles: the Mediterranean shore of the lake is a potential breeding site for endangered marine turtles—Caretta caretta (EN) is known to breed locally. Mammals: Felis chaus is known to occur in numbers.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope||winter||-||24,997 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata||winter||-||15,427 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca||winter||-||common||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio||breeding||-||500 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta||winter||-||2,949 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Redshank Tringa totanus||winter||-||3,378 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola||breeding||-||2,000 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus||winter||-||3,906 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Little Tern Sternula albifrons||breeding||-||600-800 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida||winter||-||3,530 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||-||50,000-99,999 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|2001||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Biological resource use||hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target)||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||work and other activities||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Pollution||agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Pollution||agricultural & forestry effluents - nutrient loads||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Transportation and service corridors||roads and railroads||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Lake Burullus||Protected Area||46,000||protected area contained by site||46,000|
|Lake Burullus||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||46,200||is identical to site||46,200|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
References Baha el Din (1991), Meininger and Atta (1994), Stanley and Warne (1993), van Pelt et al. (1992).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Burullus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/07/2015
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