The Lassouri–Karandi wetlands are a complex of two semi-permanent wetlands, partly surrounded by a dune system, 20 km south-east of Damagaram-Taker. Lassouri, also called Lassiri, is relatively deep and steep-sided with a maximum area of approximately 25 ha. Karandi, also called Galdimari, is very shallow and at its greatest extent occupies about 75 ha. They are filled by surface run-off, but are probably also fed by groundwater originating in the surrounding dunes. Less than 1 km apart, Lassouri and Karandi are connected by open water when full, but become isolated as water-levels drop. According to local villagers the two wetlands dry out completely in most years. In 1997, they were almost dry by February. Average annual rainfall in the Lassouri area for the period 1961–1990 was approximately 300 mm, but variation between years is large. The area of water during waterbird censuses in January–February varied from 11 to 20 ha for Lassouri and from 25 to 65 ha for Karandi. The water of the wetlands is somewhat brackish and alkaline, with average levels of nitrogen and low levels of phosphorus in the very sandy sediment. Vegetation includes abundant Leptochloa flavescens and Cyperus alopecurioides with, at Karandi, also Nymphaea spp. and probably, Echinochloa stagnina. Typha australis was introduced in 1995. The surrounding area, particularly north-east of Lassouri, supports some woodland consisting of Balanites aegyptiaca, Ziziphus mauritiana, Prosopis juliflora, Hyphaene thebaica and various fruit trees (lemon, guava, tamarind). Around Karandi there are fewer trees, but those present include Acacia nilotica, Hyphaene thebaica and, locally, Phoenix dactylifera.
See Box for key species. Surveys have been made at these wetlands during January–February of 1993–1998 and a total of 48 species of waterbird recorded. Significant observations, in addition to those listed below, include five Aythya nyroca, 2,500 Anasacuta and 3,100 A. querquedula in January 1993, 200 Anas crecca in January 1995 and 1,600 Dendrocygna bicolor in January 1996. Two Anser albifrons were seen in January 1995. More than 7,000 waterbirds were counted at Lassouri–Karandi in three out of the six years including 1995, when coverage of Karandi, the largest wetland, was only 20%.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The wetland is owned by government, but may be used by the local population under supervision. The wetland is much used for the grazing and watering of livestock. Other activities include crop growing on residual moisture and fishing, for Clarias anguillaris and Protopterus annectens. There appear, however, to be few immediate threats, other than greater usage of the wetlands and/or their catchments due to increased demographic pressure.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lassouri - Karandi wetlands. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 16/01/2021.