A group of marshes in the Diyala valley between Baquba and Shahraban, c.75 km north-east of Baghdad. These include Haur Abu Abbas (33°50'N 44°45'E, a shallow freshwater lake, c.500-1,000 ha), Haur Shaikh Sayed (33°51'N 44°46'E, by 1972 a lake of only 10 ha, almost drained), Haur Al Ahmar (34°00'N 44°55'E, freshwater, c.600 ha), Haur Al Habara, Haur Abdul Warid, Haur Al Ugur (34°00'N 44°55'E) and a rain-flooded area near Shahraban (Al Miqdadiyah). At Haur Al Ahmar the flat shore is covered with dense reedbeds, and mudflats are exposed at low water; the area surrounding the southern shore area is fertile cultivation, with cotton, corn, date-palm groves and orchards, and the lake serves for irrigation of these.
The site is important for wintering waterbirds, e.g. 39,900 wildfowl were present in January 1968. Other wintering species include Circus aeruginosus (17), Remiz pendulinus (4, Haur Al Ahmar) and Corvus frugilegus (5,000, Haur Al Ahmar); Anthus spinoletta is common. There is little information from other times of year, but Coracias garrulus has bred. 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. Hunting occurs, and commercial duck-netting is frequent. Haur Shaikh Sayed had been subject to drainage in 1972. There is no information on the (likely) current status of this site. No conservation measures are known to have been proposed.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Baquba wetlands. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 17/01/2021.