Country/territory: Iraq

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

Area: 16,909 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
This site is located at the Iraq-Iran border, which divides the Shatt Al-Arab River between Iraq (western half) and Iran (eastern) and is considered part of the original IBA040 & IBA042 both described by Evans (1994). The border is only political and no physical barriers divide the river. This site extends from Sayhan (north) to Ras Al-Beesha (south). It includes marshes along the Shatt Al-Arab that are affected by tides and saltwater of the Gulf. The geology of the area is gravels, sands, silts and alluvium, mainly sands. During the 1980s prior to the Iraq/Iran war this was an important region for date palm production, but the trees have since been destroyed

Key biodiversity
Additional Important Bird Observations: During the surveys, 52 bird species were observed. In addition to those listed in the table above, Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga and Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus (both Vulnerable) were found in winter as well as flocks of Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata (Near Threatened). The site also held four Sahara-Sindian breeding species but these did not trigger inclusion under A3 criterion. The endemic race of Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis iraquensis also occurs and probably breeds. Other Important Fauna: Data were collected from 2007 to 2008. Golden Jackal Canis aureus was observed, as were Wild Boar Sus scrofa. Fish: Data were collected from 2005 to 2007 and also in 2009, during which 36 species were found. Significant freshwater species found at this site, according to Coad (2010) were: Acanthopagrus cf. arabicus, Carasobarbus luteus, Carassius auratus, Cyprinus carpio, Liza abu, L. klunzingeri, L. subviridis, Luciobarbus xanthopterus, Tenualosa ilisha, Thryssa hamiltonii, Tor grypus, and Silurus triostegus. The following, primarily marine species, were also found: Ablennes hians, Acanthopagrus berda, Argyrosomus aeneus, Bothus pantherinus, Chirocentrus dorab, Cynoglossus arel, Eleutheronemate tradactylum, Epinephelus tauvina, Ilisha elongata, Johnius belangerii, Mugil cephalus, Lutjanus rivulatus, Nemipterus bleekeri, Otolithes ruber, Pampus argenteus, Platycephalus indicus, Pseudorhombus arsius, Sarda orientalis, Sciaena dussumieri, Scomberomorous commerson (a Near Threatened species), S. guttatus, Siganus canaliculatus, and Sillago sihama.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Fao. Downloaded from on 06/10/2022.