Mahzam and Al-Alam Area

Country/territory: Iraq

IBA Criteria met: A2 (2017)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 2,145 ha

Protection status:

Nature Iraq
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2014 very high not assessed negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Evans (1994) listed Mahzam and Tharthar as an important bird area (IBA007), but the recent surveys have split this into two independent sites due to their location and logistics. The site consists of homogeneous riparian habitats on bothbanks of the Tigris River as well as desert shrublands. There are also dense fruit and date palm orchards scattered amongst bush and thickets. The geology of the area is alluvial sediments

Key biodiversity
Additional Important Bird Observations: In total,120 bird species were seen. Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus and European Roller Coracias garrulus (both Near Threatened) were observed on passage. The site also held seven breeding Sahara-Sindian Desert biome-restricted species but did not trigger inclusion under criterion A3. Other Important Fauna: Indian Gray Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii was observed and considerd the first record for Iraq (Al-Sheikhly and Mallon 2013). Also photographed at the site was the Indian Crested Porcupine Hystrix indica, which face heavy hunting pressure as they are a preferred food for locals in Salah-ad-Din. No fishsurvey was conducted.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mahzam and Al-Alam Area. Downloaded from on 26/08/2019.