|Central coordinates||41o 45.00' East 11o 16.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||1996|
Site description The Awash river ends in a chain of saline lakes of which the largest are Gamari, Afambo, Bario and Abe. These all lie to the east of Asaita, the regional capital. Lake Afambo is about 30 km east of Asaita, and Lake Abe is on the eastern border with Djibouti, 600 km north-east of Addis Ababa. On the ground it is difficult to distinguish Lake Abe from Lake Afambo. Lake Abe comprises 34,000 ha of open water and 11,000 ha of the surrounding saltflats that can extend for 10 km from the edge of the water. Records give a maximum depth of 37 m (mean 8.6 m). However, the water-level is gradually dropping due to droughts and abstraction of water upstream. The Awash enters Lakes Abe and Afambo on their north-western shores and is the only source of fresh water for these lakes. Very little is known of the vegetation except that the surrounding shrubs and bushes are all highly salt-tolerant.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Basra Reed-warbler Acrocephalus griseldis||passage||-||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Endangered|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||-||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Gazella spekei (VU), Gazella dorcas (VU) and Dorcatragus megalotis (VU) all occur in the Lakes Abe and Afambo area.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Abe wetland system. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/12/2013
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