Chahbahar Bay and Khor Konarak

Country/territory: Iran, Islamic Republic of

IBA Criteria met: A1, B1i, B3 (1994)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 33,500 ha

Site description
Chahbahar Bay, on the coast of south-east Iranian Baluchistan, is an almost circular bay c.22 km across and 18 km from north to south, with an entrance 14 km wide between rocky headlands. The shore is a sand beach backed by a broad belt of low dunes. There is a large creek with extensive intertidal mudflats near the small fishing village of Konarak on the west side of the bay (Khor Konarak, 25°20'N 60°20'E). The much larger harbour town of Chahbahar is situated in the lee of the rocky headland at the east side. The sand beaches and tidal mudflats lack vegetation other than algae. The coastal dunes support typical vegetation, while the inland plain supports an open woodland of Acacia, Prosopis, Ziziphus and Tamarix, with large areas of bare sandflats. Land ownership is public.

Key biodiversity
See box for key species. The site has little importance for breeding waterbirds, although Burhinus recurvirostris is resident. A small flock of Pelecanus crispus winters, along with reasonable numbers of shorebirds and large numbers of gulls and terns, notably Larus genei, L. cachinnans/L. argentatus and Sterna sandvicensis. Other wintering waterfowl include many Podiceps cristatus. The dunes, open thorn woodland and rocky hills around the bay support a typical Baluchi avifauna including Francolinus pondicerianus, Athene brama, Calandrella raytal, Hirundo obsoleta and Oenanthe alboniger.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chahbahar Bay and Khor Konarak. Downloaded from on 22/03/2023.