The site includes two brackish, shallow, coastal lagoons, separated from the sea by two sandbars, with an outlet to the Adriatic Sea in the centre. At low tide several hectares of mudflats are exposed. The site includes the riparian Fushe-Kushe forest with Alnus glutinosa and Populus alba, extending for approximately 50 ha. Adjacent marshes have reedbeds with Juncus maritimus and Typha angustifolia. Until recent drainage the site encompassed 4,200 ha of wetland. The main land-uses are fishing, agriculture, grazing, hunting (the area is a Game Reserve) and tourism (along the sandbars).
The area is particularly important for migratory and wintering waders (c.4,000 waterbirds present each year), including the globally endangered Numenius tenuirostris. Formerly a colony of 20-30 pairs of Pelecanus crispus bred on Cabok island.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Patoku lagoon. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/01/2021.