Lake Van

Country/territory: Turkey

IBA Criteria met: A1 (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 390,000 ha

Protection status:

Doga Dernegi

Site description
A soda lake of tectonic origin and the largest lake (371,700 ha, max. depth 451 m) in Turkey. It is fed by several streams and remains ice-free. Annual inflow is higher than evaporation, and the lake level is continuously rising as a result. The four islands are popular tourist destinations. Extensive meadows and arable land cover the flat ground between the lake and the surrounding mountains. Human activities include intensive grazing. This area includes six sites that were treated as separate IBAs in the previous international IBA inventory (Grimmett and Jones 1989): `Ahtamar Adasý' (former site TR065), `Bendimahi Deltasý' (former site TR067), `çelebidað Sazlýðý' (former site TR069), `Edremit Sazlýðý' (former site TR070), `Horkum Gölü' (former site TR072) and `Van Sazlýðý' (former site TR077).

Key biodiversity
The site is important for breeding waterbirds and for Otis tarda breeding on the peninsula east of Sodalýgöl (site 094), where up to 32 birds have been seen during the breeding season.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Van. Downloaded from on 27/01/2021.