Chami Razan

Country/territory: Iraq

IBA Criteria met: A1, A3 (2014)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 4,530 ha

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
The Tabin Stream flows from the northeast through a long valley into a narrow winding gorge, eventually joining the Lesser (Little) Zab River Several villages are situated in and around the area. There is a spring from an intersecting valley that flows into the Tabin as well as a spring-fed waterfall (Bafil) that has been developed into a tourist site. Archaeological ruins and several important caves lie within the area, including Qizqapan cave (actually a Midean (728 BC–549 BC) tomb carved in the cliff face), located west of the village of Zarzi; the remains of an Islamic-era fort further downstream in the gorge; and the Zarzi and Sara caves. According to Rosti (2011) traces of Neanderthals have been found in Zarzi and Sara, although the caves have not been fully explored

Key biodiversity
Additional Important Bird Observations: During the surveys, 65 species were seen. In addition to those listed in the table the following Near Threatened species were observed but in sub IBA-threshold numbers: Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus (passage), European Roller Coracias garrulus (breeding) and Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata (passage). The Sahara-Sindian Desert biome-restricted White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis was breeding. Note that Eastern Cinereous Bunting Emberiza semenowi mentioned in the table above is a Near Threatened species. Other Important Fauna: Spur-thighed Tortoise Testudo graeca are often seen here in pairs, and could likely meet KBA Vulnerability criteria with more study. Fish exist in the Tabin Stream but have not been assessed. On one occasion, electro-fishing was observed in the stream. Additional Plant & Habitat Information: This site contains a good population of pistachios Pistacia eurycarpa and P. khinjuk, which are economically and culturally important.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chami Razan. Downloaded from on 30/01/2023.