0920 GMT February 18, 2020
With a surface area of 3,500 square kilometers, the lake was Iran's second largest lake, home to flamingos and migratory birds.
Lake Orumieh is Iran’s largest lake.
Over the last decade, Lake Bakhtegan has dried up and turned into a salt desert.
The lake was fed by the Kor River. Several dams on the river had significantly reduced water flow into the lake, increasing its salinity and endangering the lake's populations of flamingos and other migratory birds.
In July, around 1,000 flamingo chicks stuck in the salt marsh had been rescued by the locals and environment officials.
The chicks were discovered in late July by park rangers monitoring Lake Bakhtegan.
The chicks were too young to fly and had gotten stuck in Bakhtegan, which became a salt marsh in summer as it dries up.
Environment authorities believe flamingos had laid eggs in the region in spring, when the wetland is usually filled up after seasonal rainfall. However, the lagoon dried up before the eggs hatched and the chicks got stuck in the salt marsh, Finantial Tribune wrote at the time.
On October 14, Trend news agency reported that the UN is to hold tender for Lake Bakhtegan restoration in Iran. There are no details on the issue.
One of the largest salt lakes in the world and classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, Lake Orumieh also has lost more than 90 percent of its surface over the last two decades due to drought and the damming of rivers feeding it.
Many blame climate change and dam construction for this environmental disaster.