Formerly Red Lake was a part of Caspian Sea. In the result of decreasing the sea level, this part of the sea is separated and turned to the lake. The water of the lake is salty. The road directed to Baku city divides lake into two part: the south part of the lake is oil polluted and also salty, but the north-eastern part is very important for migration and wintering birds. 1/3 part of the lake is reedy.
In 1997-2010 years, there were recorded 3593-8253 waterbirds in winter: Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 113-570 individuals; Eurasian Teal ( Anas crecca) 345-1050 individuals; Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) 109-198 individuals; Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) 55-7700 individuals; Common Coot (Fulica atra) 0-566 individuals; Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) 13-38 individuals; Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus) 0-22 individuals; Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) 0-12 individuals; Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 0- 2 individuals; Western Marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosus) 5 - 13 individuals; Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) 0-42 individuals; Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) 0-258 individuals; Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) (there was recorded 98 Mute Swan / Whooper Swan in 25.01.08). Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Garganey (Anas querquedula), Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris), Common Redshank (Tringa totanus), Common Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) occur in breeding time at site.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threats were oil pollution (in the south part), poaching and fishing till 2007. The lake is under threat now. The part of the lake was dried (about 250-300 ha) and two big trading center were built there. In consequence, the number of the wintering and migration birds decreased 10 times. But next years their numbers increased. But the problem is that it is planned to dry the lake completely and the lake could lose its importance for birds.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
At least, it would be important to protect the rest part of the lake and declare it as bird sanctuary.