Lake Urmia is a salt lake in northwestern Iran near Iran's border with Turkey. The lake is between the Iranian provinces of East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan, west of the southern portion of the similarly shaped Caspian Sea. It is the largest lake in the Middle East, and the third largest saltwater lake on earth, with a surface area of approximately 5,200 km² (2,000 mile²), 140 km (87 mi) length, 55 km (34 mi) width, and 16 m (52 ft) depth.
It is protected as a national park by the Iranian Department of Environment.
Lake Urmia is home to some 212 species of birds, 41 reptiles, 7 amphibians, and 27 species of mammals, including the Iranian yellow deer. It is an internationally registered protected area as both a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a Ramsar site. The Iranian Dept. of Environment has designated most of the lake as a "National Park".
The lake is marked by more than a hundred small, rocky islands, which serve as stopover points during the migrations of several wild birds, including flamingos, pelicans, spoonbills, ibises, storks, shelducks, avocets, stilts, and gulls.
By virtue of its high salinity, the lake no longer sustains any fish species.
Lake Urmia has 102 islands.
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