A long (c.2 km), thin coastal lagoon by Salalah town, broadening inland and fed by substantial but variable freshwater inflow from Wadi Sahnut. A gravel road crosses the sandbar which separates the lagoon from the sea, though this is still sometimes breached. The water surface is partly open, with the margins mostly rocky and lined with dense Phragmites, Juncus and sedges, but also with some open, sandy, grassy banks. The east side is busy with sardine-drying activity, and the site is surrounded by developed or fenced land. The marginal vegetation is heavily browsed by camels.
See box for key species. Other notable wintering species include Bubulcus ibis (64), Ardea cinerea (75), Circus aeruginosus (5) and Larus ridibundus (1,100). Other notable passage migrants include Aquila clanga (6, March), Pluvialis fulva (80, March) and Calidris alba (300, April). A total of 189 species has been recorded, including a very wide variety of waterbirds.
Non-bird biodiversity: Flora: at least three species on the Salalah coastal plain are endemic or near-endemic to Oman, and some may be present at this site.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Encroachment from road-widening and pipe- and track-laying, and pollution from sewage and other waste, have occurred locally in the past. The area is a proposed National Nature Reserve.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khawr ad Dahariz. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 16/01/2021.