Amedi and Sulav

Country/territory: Iraq

IBA criteria met: A1, A3 (2014)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 6,037 ha

Nature Iraq
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2015 not assessed very high negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (1994 baseline)
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.

Data-sheet compiled by Pavel Ctyroky.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Amedi and Sulav. Downloaded from on 24/09/2023.