Ibn Najm

Country/territory: Iraq

IBA Criteria met: A4iii (1994)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 4,000 ha

Protection status:

Nature Iraq
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 very high not assessed negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Shown on maps as a seasonal freshwater lake c.10 km east of the River Euphrates and c.130 km south of Baghdad. No further information is available. 2014 updates. Located in Babel Governorate, in the triangle between Babel, Qadissiya, and Najaf but the original body of water at Hor Ibn-Najm had shrunk to scattered marshes. After a period of intense agricultural expansion, these lands were used as rice farms and date-palm orchards. The geology of the area is Mesopotamian alluvium, mainly silts.

Key biodiversity
The site appears never to have been visited by an ornithologist, though it was considered by Scott and Carp (1982) to be possibly of great importance for wintering waterbirds, and Vant Leven (1968) provides good evidence for this (see ‘Conservation issues’). The haur was listed as a wetland of international importance by Carp (1980).

Non-bird biodiversity: No information available to BirdLife International.

2014 updates. Additional Important Bird Observations: A total of 54 bird species were observed. Additionally, the site supported eight breeding Sahara-Sindian Desert biome-restricted species but this did not trigger inclusion under the A3 criterion. The endemic race of Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis iraquensis and endemic race of Hooded Crow Corvus cornix capellanus(also known as Mesopotamian Crow) breed regularly at the site. Although not an IBA species, it is noteworthy that Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus, which appears to be slowly colonizing Iraq, has recently started to bred in this area (Salim, 2002). Other Important Fauna: Information was not collected at this site, but the teamobserved one Small Asian MongooseHerpestes javanicus. Fish: Information was collected for 2008& 2009, during which 14species were observed. According to Coad (2010)significant species were: Acanthopagrus cf. arabicus, Acanthobramamarmid, Alburnusmossulensis, Carasobarbusluteus, Carassiusauratus,Ctenopharyngodonidella,Cyprinuscarpio, Leuciscusvorax, Liza abu,Heteropneustesfossilis, Luciobarbusxanthopterus, Mesopotamichthyssharpeyi, and Silurustriostegu. Mastacembelusmastacembelus was also reported but is of no economic importance though their conservation status in Iraq is unknown

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2018) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ibn Najm. Downloaded from on 15/12/2018.