Wadi El Rayan Protected Area
- Site number:2041
- Area:175,790 ha
- Designation date:04-06-2012
- Coordinates:29°11'N 30°19'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
Wadi El Rayan Protected Area. 04/06/12; Fayoum; 175,790 ha; 29°12'N 030°18'E. World Heritage site, Nature Reserve. Comprises two main lakes, at different elevations, connected by a swampy channel, one of the most important habitats for certain bird species of national, regional and international importance. The area holds reasonable numbers of wintering birds such as the near-threatened Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) and Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus as well as several threatened species of mammals, including the slender horned gazelle, Gazella leptoceros. The lakes and springs play a critical role in the life cycles of a remarkable diversity of species, including 29 fish species, 164 bird species, 24 mammal species, 14 reptile species and 38 plant species. Fishing and agriculture are the major sources of livelihood for the 12,000 resident population, and the annual fish catch has been increasing markedly. Potential threats to the site include agricultural and wastewater drainage as well as illegal hunting. Wadi al-Hitan ("Whale Valley"), within the Ramsar Site, was designated as a World Heritage site in 2005 because of "invaluable fossil remains of the earliest, and now extinct, suborder of whales, Archaeoceti. These fossils represent one of the major stories of evolution: the emergence of the whale as an ocean-going mammal from a previous life as a land-based animal" (WH List). Ramsar Site no. 2041. Most recent RIS information 2012.
- Global international designation:
- World Heritage site
- National legal designation:
- Protected Area - Wadi El-Rayan Protected Area
- Last publication date:04-06-2012