De Lezha is a northwest extension of the Qara Dagh ridge and could be effectively considered as a part of the Qara Dagh KBA (IQ039)
The site is located in the Zagros mountain range, where the geology is limestone and soil type is sandy clay.
Additional Important Bird Observations: During the survey period, a total of 79 species were seen. In addition to those in the table above, European Roller Coracias garrulus (breeding) and Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata (migrant), both Near Threatened, were observed, but at sub IBA-threshold numbers. Four Mediterranean and two Sahara-Sindian Desert biome-restricted species were found breeding.
Other Important Fauna: Not enough data were collected under the rapid assessment. Only one Indian Grey Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii was observed. The stream supports fish but no surveys were conducted.
Additional Plant & Habitat Information: This site contains a good population of Morus alba, Morus nigra, Pistacia eurycarpa and P. khinjuk, which are economically and culturally important.
Habitat and land use
The main habitat types were mountain forest vegetation (primarily oak forests) and mountain riverine forest. There are also dense grassland and scattered bushes cut through by a seasonal stream, which is densely wooded on both banks and crossed by a bridge. A line of old willows stands along parts of the local river.
Some cultivated areas and three small villages (De Lezha, Solai Kabinakan and Solai Shekh Qadir) lie nearby. It is a popular picnic site. A ridge of mountains to the south was not surveyed but is primarily used for grazing. East of De Lezha, a residential development has been built that will house employees for a future dam that is proposed to be constructed on the stream.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Natural systems modification (due to a proposed dam construction project that included also worker housing), hunting, and human intrusion were assessed as very high. Pollution (from village waste and also picnicking waste) and transportation were rated as high threats and livestock production/grazing was assessed as a medium threat.