Akyatan Lake

Site description (2000 baseline):

Site location and context
A former oxbow of the River Seyhan, this is the largest lagoon in the çukurova delta (max. 7,500 ha, max. depth 4 m). Its salinity fluctuates with wet season run-off and inputs of drainage water. A narrow belt of reed Phragmites and rush occurs along the shore; extensive mudflats appear during the summer. Sand-dunes separate the sea from the lake, which is otherwise surrounded by arable land. Also includes the seasonal Yemiþli lake, which extends to 800 ha during wet winters.

Key biodiversity
This is an important area for breeding waterbirds, large numbers of wintering waterbirds and as a stop-over site for passage waders. The dunes provide breeding and staging habitat for warblers. A 1990 WIWO study revealed that passage waders remain for relatively short periods due to the poor feeding conditions. Yemiþli lake formerly held the only known Turkish breeding population of Porphyrio porphyrio outside of the Göksu delta (site 073).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Areas of wetland will be drained as a result of the DSÝ Lower Seyhan Irrigation project. Agricultural run-off and industrial waste from factories south of Adana enters the lake via the YD3 canal. Small permanent settlements and tourism developments are being established throughout the area. A large airport is to be built, possibly on the former Yemiþli lake. Fish catches declined over 25 years to 1995. Implementation of the Permanent Wildlife Reserve designation is insufficient and poaching is frequently reported. A 1996 management plan regulates all land-use in the delta, and places restrictions on the construction of holiday homes.

Protected areas
National Partial International High11,244 ha of IBA covered by Permanent Wildlife Reserve (Akyatan Gölü, 11,244 ha). 14,000 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Akyatan Gölü, 14,700 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Akyatan Lake. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/akyatan-lake-iba-turkey on 01/10/2023.