|Central coordinates||17o 30.00' East 12o 50.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Lake Fitri is located in the centre of the country, about 300 km east of N’Djamena. The normal maximum extent of the lake is about 50,000 ha, although it can double or triple in size in wet years; the area of the designated Ramsar Site is 195,000 ha. In addition, there are a number of permanent swamps around its normal margin of 150 km. The freshwater lake is normally shallow (several metres) and is fed by seasonal rainfall and run-off from a catchment area estimated at 70,000 km². The principal affluent is the seasonal Batha river which carries water from the Ouaddai massif to the east. The normally permanent lake may dry out during severe drought periods, such as occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century and again in 1984–1985 and (almost) in 1991. The lake supports vegetation characteristic of Sahelian wetlands which includes Echinochloa stagnina, Vossia cuspidata and Nymphaea aquatica, while seasonally flooded areas support woodland consisting of Acacia nilotica and Mitragyna inermis with a ground-cover of annual grasses and sedges.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Waterbird counts have been made at Lake Fitri annually since 1984 and irregularly before that. As well as being important for Palearctic migrants, the lake also provides a drought refuge for Afrotropical species. A total of 3,800 Aythya nyroca were counted in 1999. It is thought that the population of Balearica pavonina may exceed 2,500.
Non-bird biodiversity: Among mammals, the site is important for Loxodonta africana (EN) in the dry season, and Gazella rufifrons (VU) occurs, especially west of the lake.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Northern Pintail Anas acuta||winter||1986||56,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Fulvous Whistling-duck Dendrocygna bicolor||winter||1984||21,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|White-faced Whistling-duck Dendrocygna viduata||winter||1987||24,800 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Garganey Spatula querquedula||winter||1986||83,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca||winter||1999||3,800 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|African Spoonbill Platalea alba||winter||1998||900 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides||winter||1998||3,060 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Black Crowned-crane Balearica pavonina||winter||1991||1,500 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||1984-1987||100,000-499,999 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|2001||very high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Lac Fitri||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||195,000||is identical to site||195,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||73%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
References Jones (1993), Keith and Plowes (1993), Laboratoire de Farcha/DHV Consultants (1994), Scholte (1996, 2001), Trolliet and Thal (1999–2000).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Fitri. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2014
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