Abu Dalaf and Shari lake

Year of compilation: 1994

Site description (baseline)
Shari lake (5,000-8,000 ha) lies east of the Tigris, c.30 km north-east of Samara. It is largely rain-fed and saline, and there are some small Phragmites reedbeds. The site includes a large area of semi-desert (c.120,000 ha) on the western side of the lake and extending c.20 km from it, the habitat being of similar type to that at Mahzam (see site 007), though with more bushes and a denser growth of grass in spring, particularly close to the lake. Part of the area is farmed, and sheep graze freely, with extra stock being brought in during spring to graze near the lake. There is commercial salt extraction at the lake.

Key biodiversity
Other breeding species include Cursorius cursor, Pterocles alchata (max. 2,000 birds), Pycnonotus leucotis and Oenanthe isabellina (probably). Small numbers of waterfowl winter, and notable passage migrants include Charadrius asiaticus (max. 20).

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V). Reptiles: the monitor Varanus griseus (rare).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
No conservation measures are known to have been taken. Threats to the site are similar to those at Mahzam. No conservation measures are known to have been proposed.

Data-sheet compiled by Dr Khalid Y. Al-Dabbagh.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Abu Dalaf and Shari lake. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/8029 on 05/06/2023.