The IBA lies in the Develi closed basin, surrounded by mountains. The wetland comprises a series of salt, brackish and freshwater lakes, and extensive marshes, and reaches 20,000 ha at its maximum extent. The salt-lakes are surrounded by Salicornia steppe; the southern marshes comprise vast reedbeds (Phragmites) interspersed with expanses of Typha, Juncus and Carex. Human activities include sheep- and cattle-grazing, and reed-cutting (`Other' land-use).
The site holds significant numbers of a range of breeding, wintering and passage waterbirds. Large numbers of Phoenicopterus ruber, Grus grus and Recurvirostra avosetta use the wetland in autumn. Chettusia leucura apparently bred in 1996.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Agricultural intensification and associated water management in the basin poses a serious threatreduced water inputs and a lack of rainfall led to the wetland drying up in 1990 and 1991. The wetland can only be preserved if further expansion of the irrigation scheme is cancelled. Industrial, agricultural and untreated urban waste enters through drainage channels. Tourists cause disturbance, and uncontrolled reed-cutting takes place (`Other' threat). Illegal hunting of falcons occurs on the surrounding steppe. The management plan covers developing ecotourism at the site.
National High International Partial17,200 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Sultansazlýðý, 17,200 ha). 39,000 ha of IBA covered by Permanent Wildlife Reserve (Sultansazlýðý, 45,000 ha). 17,200 ha of IBA covered by SÝT (Sultansazlýðý, 17,200 ha). 17,200 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Sultansazlýðý, 17,200 ha).
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sultan Marsh. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 26/10/2021.