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|Surface area||160 km²|
|Average depth||avg. 3 m|
|Surface elevation||18 m|
|Designated||April 13, 1994 |
Lake Kuş or Lake Manyas (Turkish: Kuş Gölü meaning Bird Lake, or, Manyas Gölü) is a lake in western Turkey, located in the Bandırma region. This is a shallow nutrient-rich freshwater lake (average depth 3 m) fed by groundwater and four streams. Small deltas have formed where the latter enter the lake, comprising extensive marshes and tree-lined riverbanks. Narrow belts of reed Phragmites fringe much of the lake. Water is abstracted for factory use and for irrigation. Cattle- and sheep-grazing is common along the lake shores.
Manyas Lake is an important site for breeding and wintering waterbirds. In 1938 the Kuş Cenneti (Turkish for "Bird Paradise") nature reserve was set up by the German zoologist and hydrologist Curt Kosswig who worked in Turkey from 1937-1955. This 64-ha sanctuary occupies a largely unspoiled area of the lakeside near Sığırcık in the northeast corner of the lake and has a small ornithological museum of stuffed birds in poor condition, remote-controlled viewing cameras, and an observation tower erected in 1952 by the Hydrology Department of the University of Istanbul.
More than 270 species of birds have been recorded at the lake. Important bird species include white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala), Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), plus breeding populations of the vulnerable Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus). Migrating great white pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) often roost at the lake.
High threats include agricultural use and intensification, drainage and dam construction. Artificially high water-levels have resulted in the loss of feeding marshes. Nesting trees in the National Park have also begun to die as a result of prolonged inundation. Agricultural, industrial and household pollution enters the lake in large quantities. Due to over-fishing, disease, pollution and possibly the effects of the changing water regime, fish catches have declined drastically. Fish migration into the lake is now impossible following the construction of a regulator.
- "Ramsar List". Ramsar.org. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
Media related to Bird Paradise at Wikimedia Commons