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Lake Profile


General Information

Description Lake Kutubu, in New Guinea's southern highlands, is a rare form of lake formed by a lava dam.
Country Papua New Guinea
Latitude -6° 20' 0" (-6.3333)
Longitude 143° 20' 0" (143.3333)

Physical Characteristics

Description Kutubu has steep rocky shores mainly devoid of plants.
Surface Area 100.00 km2
Depth Maximum depth: 70.0 m
Origin Volcanic
Type Permanent
Catchment Catchment size: 250.00 km2
Catchment/surface area ratio: 3:1


Economic Value
Major Cities

Watershed Management

Description A management plan for the Lake Kutubu Wildlife Management Area (which is approximately the same as the Ramsar site boundaries) was drawn up but had not been implemented as of 1997.
Watershed Action Plan Developed
Issues One potential threat to Kutubu comes from the possible development of oil reserves near the lake.

Biodiversity Conservation

Description A total of 13 species have been recorded at Kutubu Lake, including 11 that are endemic.
Designations LakeNet Biodiversity Priority
Ramsar Site
WWF Global 200
Ramsar Site Name Lake Kutubu
Ramsar Designations 1, 3, 4, 7, 8
Species of Concern
Endemism Medium



A Directory of Wetlands in Oceania
Biodiversity Conservation of the World's Lakes: A Preliminary Framework for Identifying Priorities
Kutubu Ramsar Fact Sheet
Lake Kutubu: Newest Ramsar site in Papua New Guinea
Limnology in Developing Countries Volume 1
The Kikori River Region: Kutubu fish management & biodiversity project

Additional Data Sources

Birkett, C., and I. Mason. 1995. A new global lakes database for remote sensing programme studying climatically sensitive large lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 21 (3) 307-318.
Duker, L. and L. Borre. 2001. Biodiversity conservation of the world's lakes: a preliminary framework for identifying priorities. LakeNet Report Series Number 2. Annapolis, Maryland USA.
Gopal, B. and R. Wetzel. 1995. Limnology in Developing Countries Vol. 1. International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology (SIL). International Scientific Publications. New Delhi, India.

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