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Lake Chemchem (03124002)


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
256Calidris pugnax18.0015  
212Coot, Red-knobbedFulica cristata2121.0021   
50Cormorant, ReedMicrocarbo africanus1187.75142   
203Crake, BlackZapornia flavirostra12.754
52Darter, AfricanAnhinga rufa88.008   
101Duck, Fulvous WhistlingDendrocygna bicolor9115.00221   
91Duck, Knob-billedSarkidiornis melanotos11.001   
104Duck, White-backedThalassornis leuconotus341341.00341220110250
100Duck, White-faced WhistlingDendrocygna viduata11588.501166   
149Eagle, African FishHaliaeetus vocifer11.001
58Egret, GreatArdea alba1616.0016   
60Egret, IntermediateArdea intermedia22.002   
59Egret, LittleEgretta garzetta1515.0015   
61Egret, Western CattleBubulcus ibis22.002   
86Flamingo, Greater Phoenicopterus roseus7979.0079   
92Goose, African PygmyNettapus auritus347.00128   
89Goose, EgyptianAlopochen aegyptiaca99.009   
6Grebe, LittleTachybaptus ruficollis9090.0090   
263Greenshank, CommonTringa nebularia12.674   
933Gull, Black-headedChroicocephalus ridibundus2121.0021
170Harrier, Montagu'sCircus pygargus11.001
168Harrier, PallidCircus macrourus33.003
64Heron, BlackEgretta ardesiaca129.3373   
55Heron, Black-headedArdea melanocephala11.803   
56Heron, GoliathArdea goliath11.001   
54Heron, GreyArdea cinerea22.503   
57Heron, PurpleArdea purpurea12.674   
62Heron, SquaccoArdeola ralloides813.6724   
81Ibis, African SacredThreskiornis aethiopicus2234.0046   
83Ibis, GlossyPlegadis falcinellus22.002   
84Ibis, Hadada Bostrychia hagedash55.005   
228Jacana, AfricanActophilornis africanus7120.75359   
397Kingfisher, MalachiteCorythornis cristatus26.0011
400Kingfisher, MangroveHalcyon senegaloides11.001
394Kingfisher, PiedCeryle rudis313.8024
210Moorhen, CommonGallinula chloropus77.007   
74Openbill, AfricanAnastomus lamelligerus131344.00731 500 
172Osprey, WesternPandion haliaetus11.001
230Painted-snipe, GreaterRostratula benghalensis11.001   
42Pelican, Great WhitePelecanus onocrotalus4444.0044   
41Pelican, Pink-backedPelecanus rufescens48.5013   
233Plover, Common RingedCharadrius hiaticula14.007   
237Plover, Kittlitz'sCharadrius pecuarius12.003   
238Plover, Three-bandedCharadrius tricollaris11.502   
102Pochard, SouthernNetta erythrophthalma3737.0037   
258Sandpiper, CommonActitis hypoleucos22.002  
251Sandpiper, CurlewCalidris ferruginea11.001  
262Sandpiper, MarshTringa stagnatilis19.0017   
264Sandpiper, WoodTringa glareola518.5032   
85Spoonbill, AfricanPlatalea alba136136.00136 75 
270Stilt, Black-wingedHimantopus himantopus621.0036   
253Stint, LittleCalidris minuta1440.0066   
76Stork, Yellow-billedMycteria ibis83218.50354 250 
208Swamphen, AfricanPorphyrio madagascariensis11.502  
1274Teal, EurasianAnas crecca11.001
97Teal, Red-billedAnas erythrorhyncha2525.0025   
902Tern, Gull-billedGelochelidon nilotica15.008 
2070Tern, Saunders'sSternula saundersi55.005
304Tern, White-wingedChlidonias leucopterus150150.00150   
FITZ logo Ramsar Wetlands International

Saturday 02 December 2023 07:51
FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
Department of Biological Sciences - University of Cape Town

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