Teeb Oasis and Zubaidaat

Year of compilation: 2014

Site description
This site is a combination of two KBAs, Teeb Oasis and Zubaidaat, both in Missan Governorate. Teeb Oasis is situated in a semi-desert area and was surveyed in the winter of 2009. It is located in the foothills that rise in the east to the mountainous border with Iran. The oasis contains a freshwater spring used by shepherds and locals to fill their water tanks. The geology of the area is gravels, sands, silts and alluvium. Zubaidaat is characterized by dry and hilly terrain, with many valleys (wadis). It is located close to the Iraq-Iran border, with several oil fields, pipeline networks and a small number of paved and dirt roads

Key biodiversity
Additional Important Bird Observations: Locals report large numbers of raptors passing through the area during migration and in winter. In addition to the species listed in the table above, the site held three Irano-Turanian species but these did not trigger inclusion under A3 criterion. Other Important Fauna: According to reports by locals and hunters, mammals include: Honey Badger Mellivora capensis, Striped Hyena Hyaena hyaena (Near Threatened), Grey Wolf Canis lupus, plus wild cats Felis sp. and foxes Vulpes sp. Gazelles used to occur in the hilly parts of this area where a few were killed close to the border. Two significant reptile species observed at this site were Desert Monitor Varanus griseus and Egyptian Spiny-tailed Lizard Uromastyx aegyptia. No fish data were collected.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Over-exploitation of species represents the main threat and was ranked very high because of the heavy pressure on game birds (See-see Partridge Ammoperdix griseogularis and doves) and gazelles in the higher areas. Also grazing occurs everywhere, even on hill slopes. Threats rated high were energy production from oilfields; road development, especially to service oilfields, construction of oil pipelines, and the main road between Amarah city and the picnic area in Teeb Oasis); human disturbance (from movements of people collecting water from springs, picnic activities occurring mainly in Teeb Oasis, and military exercises by the border police), and pollution from abandoned munitions as well as garbage left by picnickers.

Protected areas
In 2013, this site (along with Teeb Seasonal Wetlands, IQ068) was identified by the National Protected Area Committee (NPAC) as a future proposed protected area.

Habitat and land use
In comparison with the surrounding area, plant cover is considered rich, which makes it attractive to wildlife. There are some trees within the site in addition to thorny shrubs and grasses with the dominant habitats being desert shrubs and desert herbaceous vegetation. Approximately 60% of the area is unvegetated. This area is important for migrant birds, in particular passerines, as well as resident species. Another oasis, Ein Al-Kibreet, lies several kilometers to the southwest and contains water rich in sulfur. This is one of several oases in the Al-Teeb desert northeast of Amarah city and near the Iranian border. The permanent water and plant cover create an attractive habitat for desert birds as well as migratory birds such as passerines. Zubaidaat: It is uninhabited except for nomadic grazers who pass through the area and otherwise devoid of human activity, rendering much of its wildlife undisturbed. This area is also an important migration corridor for passerines and other birds. Many parts of the area contain the remains of old battles from the Iraq-Iran War of the 1980s (bombs, shells, land-mines, etc.). During the summer 2010 visit, signs of new oil well development were seen in the area and some excavators were observed digging.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Teeb Oasis and Zubaidaat. Downloaded from on 21/03/2023.