Central Marshes

IBA Justification

The site was identified as important in 2014 because it was regularly supporting significant populations of the species listed below, meeting ('triggering') IBA criteria.

Populations meeting IBA criteria ('trigger species'):
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) Population estimate at site IBA criteria met
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris NT winter 2005-2010 1,800-12,000 individuals A1, A4i
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris NT resident 2005-2010 100-150 breeding pairs A1, A4i
Spotted Sandgrouse Pterocles senegallus LC resident 2005-2010 10 breeding pairs A3
Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptius LC breeding 2005-2010 10 breeding pairs A3
White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus LC resident 2005-2010 50 breeding pairs A3
Basra Reed-warbler Acrocephalus griseldis EN breeding 2005-2010 2,000 breeding pairs A1, A2, A3
White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis LC resident 2005-2010 10 breeding pairs A3
Iraq Babbler Argya altirostris LC resident 2005-2010 1,000 breeding pairs A2, A3
Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus LC breeding 2006-2007 20 breeding pairs A3
Dead Sea Sparrow Passer moabiticus LC resident 2005-2010 2,000 breeding pairs A3, A4ii
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a winter 2005-2010 max 74,000 individuals A4iii

The current IUCN Red List category may differ from that which was valid at the time of IBA criteria assessment (2014).

IBA Conservation

IBA conservation assessment
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2013 not assessed very high negligible
Was the whole site assessed? State assessed by Accuracy of information
yes unset unknown

Pressure (threats to the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Threat level 1 Threat level 2 Timing Scope Severity Result
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - large dams happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Response (conservation actions taken for the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Protected-area designation Management planning Other conservation action Result
Little/none of site covered (<10%) No management planning has taken place Not assessed negligible
For more information about IBA conservation status, please click here

IBA Protection

Protected area (PA) PA designation PA area (ha) Relationship of PA with IBA Overlap of PA with IBA (ha)
The Ahwar of Southern Iraq: Refuge of Biodiversity and the Relict Landscape of the Mesopotamian Cities World Heritage Site (natural or mixed) 211,544 protected area overlaps with site 0
Central Marshes National Park 141,615 protected area overlaps with site 95,000
Central Marshes Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance 219,700 protected area overlaps with site 0


Habitat (IUCN level 1) Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) -
For more information about the IUCN Habitat classification, please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
rangeland/pastureland -
fisheries/aquaculture -
hunting -

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Central Marshes. Downloaded from on 04/10/2023.