Central Marshes

Country/territory: Iraq

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4ii, A4iii (2014)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 131,780 ha

Nature Iraq
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 very high not assessed negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site summary
2014 updates. Historically, the Central Marshes comprised a vast complex of mostly permanent freshwater marshes, with scattered areas of open water, located to the west of the River Tigris and north of the River Euphrates (within Basra, Thi-Qar, and Missan provinces) and represented many diverse habitats from seasonal to permanent marshes. Evans (1994) listed it as an Important Bird Area (IBA038) fed by both rivers but today, even after re-flooding of some areas many of the connections from the Tigris remain severed. The Central Marshes are now restricted to two areas: Chibaish Marshes, north of the city of Chibaish, and Abu Zirig Marsh to the northwest; the two areas are still connected and the geology of both areas is Mesopotamian alluvium, mainly silts.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Central Marshes. Downloaded from on 07/02/2023.