The site comprises the Hilleh Protected Area, 35 km north-west of Bushire, established to protect the only major freshwater wetland on the south coast of Iran east of Khuzestan- a complex of permanent freshwater lagoons with extensive sedge marshes on seasonally flooded plains near the mouth of the Hilleh (Helleh, Halileh) Rud. The site also includes a large area of the adjacent sparsely vegetated desert plains and extensive intertidal mudflats. Overall there are c.35,600 ha of wetland. Land ownership is public.
See box for key species. The wetland supports large numbers of breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl of a wide variety of species, and is especially important for wintering Phalacrocorax carbo, herons and egrets, Platalea leucorodia, Phoenicopterus ruber, Anser anser, surface-feeding ducks, Circus aeruginosus, Grus grus (120) and shorebirds. Pterocles alchata breeds fairly commonly on the adjacent plains, and Coracias benghalensis is a fairly common resident. Plegadis falcinellus is an occasional passage migrant or winter visitor. At least 111 species have been recorded in the reserve.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hilleh Protected Area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/08/2019.