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Location Turkey, Edirne
Central coordinates 26o 11.00' East  40o 45.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3
Area 15,280 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Doga Dernegi (Partner Designate)

Site description The delta is situated on the Turkish-Greek border where the Meriç river flows into the Aegean Sea (adjacent to Greek site 006). The IBA comprises a complex of freshwater lakes, extensive reedbeds (Phragmites), lagoons and 3,400 ha of former flood-plain that has largely been converted to farmland. The lakes and marshes are surrounded by irrigated rice-fields. Sheep- and cattle-grazing is widespread.

Key Biodiversity An important site for both breeding and wintering waterbirds. Large numbers of Pelecanus onocrotalus roost on the lakes during migration.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Mute Swan Cygnus olor winter  1999  8,900 individuals  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus winter  1998  1,200 individuals  A4i, B1i, B3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  1999  12,400 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina winter  1996  15,528 individuals  A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus breeding  100 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia breeding  40 breeding pairs  B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia passage  2000  231 individuals  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  50 breeding pairs  B2  Not Recognised 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax breeding  200 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  1997  300 breeding pairs  poor  A4i, B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea breeding  1997  100 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Egretta garzetta breeding  1994  377-470 breeding pairs  A4i, B1i  Not Recognised 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  1998  610 individuals  A1, A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1998  20,000 individuals  A1, A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1999  9,300 individuals  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  6 individuals  A1  Vulnerable 
Common Coot Fulica atra winter  1999  31,300 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus breeding  1994  350 breeding pairs  A4i, B1i  Not Recognised 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola breeding  1994  200 breeding pairs  A4i, B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  200 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida breeding  1993  500 breeding pairs  A4i, B1i, B2  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  48,440-73,212 individuals  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 high very unfavourable low
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high

Cygnus olor Mute Swan 8900 2832 - 32 very unfavourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 73212 21926 adults only 30 very unfavourable

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  No management planning has taken place  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Gala Lake National Park 0 is identical to site 0  
Meriç Delta Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 0 is identical to site 0  
Merýc Deltasý SIT (Law on Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets No. 2863) 7,000 protected area contained by site 7,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  50%
Coastline Lagoons; Tidal rivers & enclosed tidal waters  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 20%
agriculture 25%
hunting 5%
military 25%
water management 20%

Protection status National High International None2,369 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Meriç/Evros deltasý, 2,369 ha). 7,000 ha of IBA covered by SÝT (Meriç Deltasý, 7,000 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Meriç Delta. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife