Khawr Abdallah

Year of compilation: 1994

Site description
Enormous areas of swampy grassflats (c.90,000 ha) and intertidal mudflats (c.36,000 ha) backed by a belt of date palms and then by silt desert, immediately west of the point where the Shatt Al Arab enters the Gulf, and of the town of Fao. Tidal amplitude is large (3 m or more). There is a major oil terminal.

Key biodiversity
Except for scattered records from the 1920s and before, the site has been surveyed only once, in January 1968, and then only very incompletely. Counts then included 2,050 ducks, but the area appeared more important for wintering gulls and terns; 2,015 waders were also counted. Larus genei and Coracias benghalensis were breeding in the 1920s, and Passer hispaniolensis occurs in winter. The entire area was listed as a wetland of international importance by Carp (1980).

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

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
No conservation measures are known to have been taken. There is no information on current threats, but the area may have undergone land-claim (in common with many other Arabian Gulf shorelines associated with centres of industry and population), and oil pollution is presumably a constant threat. The huge oil spills in 1991 caused by bombing of tankers and the Mina al-Bakr offshore oil terminal apparently did not impact this coast significantly, presumably due to prevailing winds and currents carrying the slicks away from the shore. No conservation measures are known to have been proposed.

Information compiled by D. J. Brooks, reviewed by Dr Khalid Y. Al-Dabbagh and Dr Hanna Y. Siman.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khawr Abdallah. Downloaded from on 15/08/2022.