Darbandikhan Lake

Country/territory: Iraq

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

Area: 36,842 ha

Nature Iraq
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2014 very high not assessed negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Darbandikhan is a large freshwater reservoir created by the Darbandikhan Dam that is fed by two main rivers, the Tanjero in the north and the Sirwan in the east, and covers (depending on the time of year) approximately 7,500 ha (Evans, 1994) who listed Darbandikhan, along with Dukan and Bakhma, as an Important Bird Area

Key biodiversity
Additional Important Bird Observatons: During the surveys, 56 species were recorded. In addition to those in the table the site also held breeding populations of three Irano-Turanian, one Mediterranean and one Sahara-Sindian Desert biome-restricted species but these did not trigger inclusion under criterion A3. European Roller Coracias garrulous, a Near Threatened species was also recorded. Other Important Fauna: Mammal surveys were conducted in 2007 and 2010. In addition to those listed in the table, important species present at the site include the Near Threatened Eurasian otter Lutra lutra, Golden Jackal Canis aureus and one local fisherman reported seeing a Eurasian Lynx Lynx lynx in 2006. No significant reptiles or amphibians were observed on the survey. Fish: Data were collected in 2007 and 2008, when 26 species were observed. Significant species according to Coad (2010) were: Acanthobrama marmid, Alburnus mossulensis, Leuciscus vorax, Luciobarbus subquincunciatus, Carassius auratus, Cyprinus carpio, Cyprinion macrostomum, Cyprinion kais, Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, Heteropneustes fossilis, Luciobarbus esocinus, L. xanthopterus, Silurus triostegus, and Tor grypus. Six species whose conservation status is unknown in Iraq were also found: Alburnus caeruleus, Capoeta barroisi, Capoeta damascina, Chondrostoma regium, Mastacembelus mastacembelus, and Squalius lepidus. Additional Plant & Habitat Information: This site contains a good population of pistachio Pistacia eurycarpa, an economically and culturally important species. In addition, some species important present that are used for traditional foods including Gundelia tournefortii, Arum conophalloides, and Anchusa italica. Also, species important as genetic resources included Triticum aestivum, Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum, Hordeum bulbosum and Lens culinaris.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Darbandikhan Lake. Downloaded from on 18/08/2022.