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Lake Chemchem (3124002)


Management status COMMUNAL LAND
Conservation status UNPROTECTED
IBA information
Ramsar information
Heritage information
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A seasonal wetland a few kilometres south of the Sabaki River. Surrounded by farmland, the wetland has gradually been filled in through deposition of eroded soil from the poorly farmed slopes leaving only a small area of open water during the rains. When counts first started in 1999 all of the area enclosed by the boundary on the map was open water - much as a result of the heavy 1997/98 El Nino rains. Most of the wetland has become overgrown by reeds and sedges particularly in the light of a drying climate.
A shallow seasonal lake surrounded by low, relatively steep-sided hills. No stream or river out of the lake. Since the late 1990s the lake has rapidly filled in with silt as a result of heavy erosion off the slopes of the hills which have been almost completely cleared of vegetation for cultivation.
Freshwater lake when the levels were high in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Thereafter it has become more saline as water has evaporated and the lake has filled in.
Almost 100% open water in 1999 with just a narrow fringe of reeds along some stretches of the shore. By 2010 probably 80% of the lake area was filled in and dense sedges and reeds. Woodlands and scrub on the slopes around the lake have been cleared and heavy erosion resulted which has led to a serious degradation of the habitats and overall ecology of the lake.

SppCommon nameTaxonomic nameMinAvgMaxIBASubregional
212Coot, Red-knobbedFulica cristata2121.0021   
50Cormorant, ReedPhalacrocorax africanus104104.00104   
203Crake, BlackAmaurornis flavirostris33.003
101Duck, FulvousDendrocygna bicolor221221.00221   
91Duck, Knob-billedSarkidiornis melanotos11.001   
104Duck, White-backedThalassornis leuconotus341341.00341220110180
100Duck, White-facedDendrocygna viduata11661166.001166   
60Egret, Yellow-billedEgretta intermedia22.002   
149Fish-eagle, AfricanHaliaeetus vocifer11.001
6Grebe, LittleTachybaptus ruficollis9090.0090   
263Greenshank, CommonTringa nebularia33.003   
64Heron, BlackEgretta ardesiaca11.001   
56Heron, GoliathArdea goliath11.001   
57Heron, PurpleArdea purpurea33.003   
62Heron, SquaccoArdeola ralloides2424.0024   
81Ibis, African SacredThreskiornis aethiopicus2222.0022   
228Jacana, AfricanActophilornis africanus359359.00359  
397Kingfisher, MalachiteAlcedo cristata1111.0011
394Kingfisher, PiedCeryle rudis1818.0018
210Moorhen, CommonGallinula chloropus77.007   
74Openbill, AfricanAnastomus lamelligerus731731.00731 500 
230Painted-snipe, GreaterRostratula benghalensis11.001  
41Pelican, Pink-backedPelecanus rufescens1313.0013   
233Plover, Common RingedCharadrius hiaticula77.007   
238Plover, Three-bandedCharadrius tricollaris22.002   
102Pochard, SouthernNetta erythrophthalma3737.0037   
92Pygmy-Goose, AfricanNettapus auritus128128.00128   
256Ruff, RuffPhilomachus pugnax11.001  
258Sandpiper, CommonActitis hypoleucos22.002  
262Sandpiper, MarshTringa stagnatilis11.001   
264Sandpiper, WoodTringa glareola3232.0032   
270Stilt, Black-wingedHimantopus himantopus66.006  
253Stint, LittleCalidris minuta1414.0014   
208Swamphen, African PurplePorphyrio madagascariensis22.002  
1274Teal, CommonAnas crecca11.001
902Tern, Gull-billedSterna nilotica66.006 
FITZ logo Ramsar Wetlands International

Monday 23 September 2019 10:27
FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
Department of Biological Sciences - University of Cape Town

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