Tanzania names Lake Natron for the List

Tanzania names Lake Natron for the List

31 August 2001
United Republic of Tanzania

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Tanzania names Lake Natron for the List. The Bureau is delighted to announce that the United Republic of Tanzania has designated "Lake Natron Basin" (224,781 hectares, 02°21’S 036°00’E) as its second Ramsar site, effective 4 July 2001. The site comprises a closed alkaline lake basin in the bottom of the Gregory Rift part of the Great Rift Valley, contiguous with the Kenyan frontier, surrounded by escarpments and volcanic mountains, one of which is active. It is the only regular breeding area for Lesser Flamingos in east Africa, with about 2.5 million individuals, and provides support for an estimated 100,000 individuals of other waterbird species, many of them Palearctic migrants. The fish Oreochromis alcalicus appears to be endemic to Lake Natron and Lake Magadi in Kenya. A number of permanent streams and rivers provide relief in a very dry and almost inaccessible environment. The Maasai tribe practice extensive, largely semi-nomadic pastoralism within the site. Some tourism, chiefly game viewing, birdwatching, and mountain climbing, occurs, especially in conjunction with Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, and other well-known attractions not far from the site, though recently "the security situation has been far from stable". A proposed hydropower plant for the Ewaso Ngiro River in Kenya and planned soda ash exploitation in Lake Natron itself are seen as potential threats. This is Ramsar site no. 1080 (1079 Ramsar sites presently in the List). [23/08/01]