Biodiversity Egypt (EGY)
  FishBase Complete Literature Reference
Species Families Species Families
Marine 862 162 No
Freshwater 90 31 No Daget, J., J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 1984
Total 957 186 No
Ref.   Daget, J., J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 1984
Conservation The following information is to be sought: - Status of knowledge of the freshwater fauna; - Existence of conservation plans; - Information on major aquatic habitats or sites within the country; - Current major threats to species; - Future potential threats to species; - Contact(s) for further information.
Geography and Climate Egypt (with an area of 995,450 sq. km.) is an almost rainless block of desert consisting of high plains and hills in the east and along the Nile Valley. The Nile River forms the main axis of the country and stretches some 1,300 km from the Sudan border to the Mediterranean. It can be divided into two main areas: the delta which extends as far as Cairo; and the rest of the Nile Valley. Egypt is almost totally arid and all water enters the country through the Nile. Summer temperatures are high, but winter temperature may fall as low as 10°C. The inhabited strip of Egypt follows the banks of the Nile and expands into the delta. There is very intensive cultivation of crops as well as date palms, involving extensive irrigation networks. These, together with the flood control effects of the Aswan Dam, have stopped flooding over the previous floodplain.

Ref.  Vanden Bossche, J.-P. and G.M. Bernacsek, 1990
Hydrography The water resources of Egypt fall into a limited number of categories. The desert condition and limited rainfall implies that runoff is minimal and that there are few surface water sources. The most important water resource is the Nile River which rises from central East Africa and is independent of the Egyptian climate. In addition, there are a number of natural brackish water lakes/lagoons, several cases, and the large Nasser Lake. Due to excessive irrigation, Egypt also has an extensive recycled drainage water system. Lakes: the largest natural lake is Lake Quarun, situated near El Fayum. It covers 220 sq. km. and, although originally freshwater, its salinity has increased steadily since 1920 to nearly 35%. The lake is shallow and very productive. Lake Wadi Rayan (142 sq. km.) is somewhat smaller. Some small, highly saline lakes are associated with the Siwa Oasis in the northwest and Wadi El Natrun in the northeast. Rivers, floodplains and swamps: the Nile is the only river in Egypt and receives no tributaries in its 1,300 km course through the country. Its basin covers an area of 2 million sq. km. Before reaching Egypt, its waters travel 5,200 km through Tanzania, Zaire, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia. In Egypt, the Nile River discharges into the Mediterranean Sea through seven branches (the two main branches being the Rosetta and Damieta), crating the fan-shaped delta region. The Nile lies within the rift valley and the unstable shelf zone of Egypt. It is bound on its fringes by extensive plains of gravel creating tablelands. The eastern side is more developed and is dissected by "Wadis" that discharge into the Nile. The water level in the Nile is lowest in April-July and highest in September, with no relation to rainfall in Egypt. Reservoirs: the Aswan Dam retains a large body of water, the Nasser/Nubia Reservoir which covers 6,850 sq. km. at a level of 183 m (5,811 sq. km. in Egypt). Closed in 1965, it began to reach capacity in 1976 and is now the largest single source of freshwater for the whole of Egypt. Coastal lagoons: Egypt has an extensive surface area of coastal lagoons (circa 2,5500 sq. km.); the largest are Manzalah (900 sq. km.), Bardawil (726 sq. km.), and Burullus (560 sq. km.). The most characteristic of Egyptian lagoons are found in the Delta Region. Lagoons Manzalah, Burullus and Edku are similar in theat they are permanently, or for at least a number of months in the year, connected to the open sea by a natural narrow channel. Mariut Lagoon, its surface level being maintained at up to 3 m below sea level. All these lagoons are shallow (less than 1 m deep), fluctuating seasonally and varying in salinity from 9.5 to 28.5%. Bardawil Lagoon and Port Fouad are depressions which are supplied by sea water through an artificial sea link. They are therefore artificial lagoons and are deeper than 5 m, their salinity varying from brackish to sea water strength. Most of these Delta lagoons receive a discharge of irrigation drainage water.

Ref.  Vanden Bossche, J.-P. and G.M. Bernacsek, 1990
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