A large inland drainage basin at c.1,500 m with a central area of bare saltflats surrounded by a very gently sloping sandy plain. The saltflats are flooded at irregular intervals, following exceptionally heavy rains. The small town of Khash lies 30 km north-east of the basin, and the main Zahedan–Chahbahar road passes along its eastern edge. Almost the entire area, except for the central salt waste, consists of a sandy plain with excellent desertic steppe vegetation dominated by Zygophyllum and a species of Umbelliferae. There is a narrow belt of stunted Tamarix around the edge of the saltflats. Because of its remoteness from any reliable fresh water, the area is not utilized to any great extent by domestic livestock, and the vegetation remains in excellent condition, with Zygophyllum bushes over 1.5 m high.
See box for key species. The site supports the typical avifauna of Iran's central and eastern deserts, and is one of the country’s best localities for Podoces pleskei. Other notable breeding species are Ammomanes cincturus, Oenanthe deserti and Carpospiza brachydactyla.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hamoun-i Gabi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/12/2021.