Marmara Lake

Site description (2000 baseline):

Site location and context
An irrigation reservoir averaging 3,400 ha in area (depth 3-4 m); reedbed (Phragmites) and marsh cover varies according to the water-level. Surrounded by hills to the north and north-east, with Gediz valley to the south and Akhisar valley to the north-west. Flood-plains are used for growing cotton, and cattle-grazing is widespread on the marshes.

Key biodiversity
This is an important area for breeding and wintering waterbirds. Pelecanus crispus is thought to breed.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The lake virtually dried up in 1993 following a dry period and excessive abstraction. Further expansion of the irrigation network has led to a new channel being constructed to bring in more water from the Gediz river. Industrial and urban pollution entering the lake will increase as a result. DSÝ also plans to construct a hydroelectric power-station on the existing channel connecting the Gediz river and the site. Local farmers temporarily convert ecologically valuable mudflats to arable land during periods of low water-level. Out-of-season fishing is common.

Protected areas
National None International None

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Marmara Lake. Downloaded from on 04/10/2023.