Monday, June 9, 2008

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Lake Nakuru

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Lake Nakuru is located in the Eastern Rift Valley in southwest Kenya. Lake Nakuru National Park is the second most visited protected area in Kenya. It hosts the world's largest concentration of flamingos, as well as many of the animal species that make Kenya a highly valued tourism destination, including lions, leopards, rhinoceros, and water buffalo. In its total area of 188 km2 (73 square miles), there are over 450 bird species and 56 mammal species. Recognized as a wetland of international importance, Lake Nakuru was declared a Ramsar Site in 1990.

The threat of land cover degradation in the catchments of the lake is likely to increase flow fluctuation and decrease water quality. These images show the land cover degradation in the lake's catchment between 1973 and 2000.

In 2001, the Government of Kenya announced its intention to excise 353 km2 (136 square miles) of forest in the Eastern Mau Forest Reserve (area with white boundary in the 2000 image). As a result, most of the forest cover in the upper catchment of the main rivers that feed Lake Nakuru will disappear.
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