Lake Qarun Protected Area
Lake Qarun protectorate is a wetland in the El Fayoum governorate of Egypt. It was established in 1989 and covers an area of about 1,358 square kilometers. Cairo is only about 9 km from the protectorate. The lake is among Earth's most ancient natural lakes and was part of the preexisting Morris Lake. The large variety of sea, river, and continent fossils has helped the place become globally renowned.
The fossils here date back about 40 million years. The fossil of the oldest monkey on Earth, Egyptobethks, was also found here, dating back to the Oligocene era, and some petrified trees from that period can also be found here. The area is home to many amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, which comprise a significant part of the environmental system. The presence of historical monuments has helped Lake Quran attract many tourists every year.
More About The Protectorate
The place is known for its many water birds. The 276-acre island acts as the best spot for the reproduction of birds, especially the flamingo. During reproduction, it helps incubate and protect the newborn birds on the lake islets. Recognized globally as an important bird area, thousands of migratory birds rest here during the winter season. Some species include Flamingos, grey herons, spoonbills, and many duck species, to name a few, who flock to the lake during the fall.
The Many Monuments Nearby
The protectorate is a natural wonder and the location of many monuments, including the As-Sagha (goldsmiths) palace dating back to the Middle Kingdom in the northern part. Three kilometers from here is the Abu Lifa Monastery, constructed during the monastic period on an elevated place to keep monks secured from the Romans. The Greek monuments of the area include the old town of Skitnopius, which was once the departure point for the south desert-bound trade caravans. For those who wish to stay nearby, there are several eco-lodges and two 5-star hotels in Fayoum.
The Importance of Lake Qarun
Lake Qarun's protectorate in Egypt is one of Egypt's most treasured and richest landmarks. The place is blessed with the beauty of plentiful birds and is known for its unmatched historical, natural, and scientific importance. Gebal Qatarni, near the northern part of the lake, is said to have the complete fossil records of marshland mammals and terrestrial primates on Earth and is very important for understanding the evolution of humans. The area is also considered a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Lake Qarun is primarily known for its flamingo birds, and the protectorate also provides food, shelter, and breeding grounds for a wide variety of resident and migrating birds, including several endangered species.