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Location Egypt, Alexandria
Central coordinates 29o 54.00' East  31o 7.00' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 6,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Nature Conservation Eqypt (Affiliate)

Site description Lake Maryut is the westernmost of the northern delta wetlands, although its history and origin are different. Formerly, the lake was fairly large, but late in the nineteenth century the western half was cut off by a railway embankment and transformed into an extensive salina, now known as Malahet Maryut, which is seasonally flooded (usually during winter). Today, the remaining part of this lake is made up of several fragments, dissected by roads and embankments, and lies practically within the boundaries of greater Alexandria and its sprawling suburbs. What remains of the lake proper is brackish, receiving agricultural drainage-water through several drains (the most important of these is the Qala Drain), as well as large quantities of municipal and industrial effluent from the city of Alexandria. The lake has no direct connection with the Mediterranean, and is maintained at a level of c.2.8 m below sea-level by a pumping station at El Max. Much of the lake shore is fringed by extensive Typha/Phragmites marshes. The lake still supports a fishery, with Tilapia sp. making up most of the production.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Great White Egret Ardea alba winter  348 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus winter  866 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
urban/industrial/transport -

References Abu El Izz (1971), Meininger and Atta (1994).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Maryut. Downloaded from on 22/10/2014

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