Lake Burullus

Lake Burullus is a shallow, saline lagoon, 0.5m and 1.6m in depth, on Egypt's Mediterranean coast in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate. It is located between the Rosetta and Damietta branches of the Nile east of Alexandria. It has area of 46,200 ha, with some 30 small islands, and it is connected with the sea through a 50m wide outlet. 

Sand dunes up to 7km wide separate the lake form the sea. The coastal land to the east of the exit of lake is covered by sand dunes that extend for about 15 km east of the outlet.

Declared a natural protectorate in1998, Lake Burullus provides an important wintering, staging and breeding habitat for birds; the Spur-Winged Plover and Senegal Coucal are fairly common. The area hosts 135 types of land and water plants, and provides sustenance and commercial fishing for the inhabitants of the surrounding villages.

Threats to the site are water contamination from fertilizer and pesticides carried in on the irrigation canals of the Nile Delta. In the western parts of the lake, land reclamation is turning an increasing area of the lake into agricultural land. Besides the impact on the lake and salinity of the water, fishermen are losing access to their traditional property rights and to their fishing grounds.

Ramsar site no. 408.

The Convention on Wetlands came into effect for Egypt on 9 September 1988. Egypt presently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 105,700 hectares. The other site is
Lake Bardawil.

www.medwetcoast.com; http://weekly.ahram.org.eg; www.ramsar.org

Photos: http://www.samuli-schielke.de/galleries/buhaira05.htm