Amedi and Sulav

Site description (1994 baseline):

Site location and context
Ser Amadiya is an east-west mountain ridge rising to c.2,000 m, just north-west of the town of Amadiya in Kurdistan and c.20 km south of the Turkish border. The section of the Amadiya valley to the south lies at 1,450-1,550 m, 3 km west of Amadiya. The site includes rocky cliffs at Sulaf and gorges to the south, e.g. Sulaf, Geli-e-Mazurka. The treeline is at c.1,650 m, and the ridge has a grassy saddle at 1,850 m. The area to the north descends through thin scrub and shrubs to scrub Quercus and Juniperus forest with a rocky and grassy floor and numerous streams and springs. Along the valley streams in the south there are Populus trees with grass and scrub, and the valley slopes are rocky, with grass and Quercus bushes. Patches of cultivation, e.g. tobacco fields, surround the small villages. Summers are hot and dry, and winters are cold with snow. 2014 updates. Evans (1994) listed the area as an Important Bird Area (IBA003). The KBA surveys looked at two areas here: Ser Amadiya and Sulav Resort. Ser Amadiya is an ancient town and historical site with about 34 archaeological features, some of which go back to the period of the Assyrians, Medeans, and different Kurdish periods

Key biodiversity
See box for key species. The breeding bird community is characteristic of the northern uplands and comprises at least 30 species including Alectoris chukar, Caprimulgus europaeus, Dendrocopos syriacus, Hirundo rupestris, Sylvia hortensis, Parus lugubris, Lanius nubicus, Pyrrhocorax graculus, P. pyrrhocorax and Emberiza hortulana. Both Sitta tephronota and S. neumayer occur, the latter at least breeding. Prunella collaris and Montifringilla nivalis (a flock of c.150) have been noted as non-breeding visitors in March on the snowfields.

Non-bird biodiversity: Flora: the general area is very important for harbouring wild relatives of important cereal crop species.

2014 updates. A total of 74 species was recorded. In addition to those listed in the table, the site also held three Irano-Turanian, one Eurasian Steppe and Desert and one Eurasian High-Montane biome-restricted species. Eastern Cinereous Bunting Emberiza semenowi is Near Threatened. Other Important Fauna: Mammal data were collected in 2010. One local reported a sighting of the globally endangered Persian Fallow Deer Dama mesopotamica in 2006, but this remains unverified. Persian Squirrel Sciurus anomalus was observed, which though a least concern species has a declining population trend and is heavily persecuted for the pet trade in Iraq. There are streams and rivers in the area but no fish survey was conducted.

Habitat and land use
The main habitat types were oak woodlands and mountain riverine forest. The site is located in the Zagros range, where the geology is siltstones and sandstones, and soil type is sandy clay. The town (Ser Alamadiya) sits atop a rocky ridge and the area features cliffs, gorges and a valley to the south. The ridge top is about 1 km in length and 500 m in width, and the town has a population of approx. 6000. The north slope of the ridge descends through thin scrub to Quercus and Juniperus shrub forest that has a rocky, grassy floor with numerous streams and springs. Sulav Resort consists of is an area of rocky cliffs and a small resort just west of Ser Amadiya. There is a spring coming from mountains running north to south and there are Juglans sp. trees along the stream. One of Saddam’s former palaces is located inside the western edge of the delineation. The nearest village is Aneshke, southwest of the delineation and the nearest town is Qadesh located to the southeast. Agriculture is practiced in the form of vineyards and orchards.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
No conservation measures are known to have been taken. Deforestation is likely to be a severe problem, but there is no recent information on threats. No conservation measures are known to have been proposed. 2014 updates. Intensification of tourism was considered a very high threat. Sulav is a major resort close to Dohuk, and many people use the area for picnicking, resulting in the accumulation of garbage and potential sewage problems. Road construction has continued over a large area of the valley during the last three years, and was assessed as a high threat. The medium threats were water pollution, hunting, and agricultural and grazing

Data-sheet compiled by Pavel Ctyroky.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Amedi and Sulav. Downloaded from on 27/02/2024.