Uganda's only alkaline lakes are found in the Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area and the adjoining Kyambura Wildlife Reserve. Both are Important Bird Areas, a status to which the birds of the lakes contribute. A total of 179 waterbird counts were made between 1984 and 2000, covering eight of the nine alkaline lakes, all of which are small explosion craters. Of the 75 species counted, all but three were non-specialists. Maxima are given for all species, together with seasonal data for five crater lakes. Four lakes regularly supported more than 1,000 Lesser Flamingos each, the maximum being 60,000. They were Maseche, Bagusa, Nshenyi and Munyanyange. Breeding has been attempted, but has been unsuccessful so far. The more important flamingo lakes had high values for conductivity, above 15,000 μS cm−2, whilst species richness is associated with muddy shores and, probably, intermediate levels of alkalinity, between 10 and 50 Meq−1. The lakes are important scenically, for ecotourism, and for the conservation of waterbirds and plants; whilst Lake Katwe's traditional production of salt is of considerable economic significance.
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