Pink Lake (Western Australia)
Pink Lake is a salt lake in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. It lies about 3 kilometres (2 mi) west of Esperance and is bounded to the East by the South Coast Highway.
The lake is not always pink but the distinctive colour of the water changes as a result of green alga Dunaliella salina, halobacterium Halobacteria cutirubrum, and/or high concentration of brine prawn. Once the lake water reaches a salinity level greater than that of sea water, the temperature is high enough and adequate light conditions are provided, the alga begins to accumulate the red pigment beta carotene. The pink halobacterium grow in the salt crust at the bottom of the lake and the colour of the lake is a result of the balance between, D. salina and H. cutirubrum
The lake has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area because it usually supports significant numbers of hooded plovers and sometimes over 1% of the world population of banded stilts. They have had many migrant and native birds. Between 1997-2006, there were populations of between 12 and 12,000 of the banded stilt recorded. There was a population of between 5 and 68 of the hooded plovers from 1995-2005.
Prior to salt production the lake's environment was investigated in the 1980s. Table salt is produced in solar ponds at the eastern end of the lake. The company WA Salt Supply produce water softening salt, coarse salt and sheepskin salt at the Esperance site. The salt is kiln dried, crushed and bagged at the site before being distributed.