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Location Israel
Central coordinates 35o 35.00' East  32o 48.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, B1i, B2
Area 32,800 ha
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel

Site description Lake Kinneret (16,500 ha) is the largest and only natural freshwater lake in Israel. It is 209 m below sea-level.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The lake holds many wintering waterbirds, and was listed as a wetland of international importance by Carp (1980). The surrounding hills, particularly to the north (e.g. Nahal Amud), hold good numbers of landbirds, including Anthus similis.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus resident  1991  present  B2  Least Concern 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  1991  5-8 individuals  good  B2  Vulnerable 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus winter  1991  1,150 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea winter  1991  307 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Great White Egret Ardea alba winter  1991  153 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1991  4,100 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus non-breeding  1991  present  B2  Least Concern 
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus winter  1991  4,758 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Betiha Nature Reserve 1,050 protected area contained by site 1,050  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   minor
Wetlands (inland)   major
Artificial - terrestrial   major
Shrubland   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 2%
tourism/recreation major
agriculture major
fisheries/aquaculture major

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by S. Blitzblau, reviewed by R. Frumkin.

References Carp (1980), Geller (1983).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lake Kinneret and Kinerot. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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