Hoshiya and Saaroot

Country/territory: Iraq

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4iii (2015)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 33,560 ha

Protection status:

Nature Iraq
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 very high not assessed negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Part of this site, Hor Saaroot (IBA024 in Evans, 1994) is a seasonal marsh on a flat plain running in a narrow band along the eastern part of the Tigris between the towns of Ali Al-Gharbi and Amara. The approximate length is about 60 km and the width approximately 8 km Hoshiya is a flat plain south of Saaroot, which floods during the rainy season. Hoshiya, which was listed by Evans (1994) as IBA028, is really a part of Saaroot (IBA 024). This area also receives some waters from the Tigris when the water level exceeds a certain point, via a canal with a barrage. Some embankments and unpaved roads exist around the area, which are used during summer only The geology of the entire area is Mesopotamian alluvium, mainly silts

Key biodiversity
During the surveys, 39 bird species were observed in this seasonal marsh area. In addition to those in the table above, the area provides good habitat for large numbers of wintering waterfowl during the rainy season. The open plain areas also provide good habitat for the Vulnerable Macqueen’s Bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii and raptors, e.g Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca (Vulnerable). Even though few Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris (Vulnerable) were seen in winter, the area might harbor many more of this species. The restricted-range Iraq Babbler Turdoides altirostris was found breeding in this area, but did not trigger the A2 criterion. The site also held breeding populations of six Sahara-Sindian Desert biome-restricted species (Appendix XX) but this did not trigger inclusion under A3 criterion. Important Other Fauna: According to frequent reports by locals and hunters, the reported animals are: Honey Badger Mellivora capensis, Striped Hyena Hyaena hyaena (Near Threatened), Red Fox/Ruppell’s Fox Vulpes sp., Golden Jackal Canis aureus, and Grey Wolf Canis lupus. Some reptiles were observed, but not identified. No fish data were collected.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hoshiya and Saaroot. Downloaded from on 15/07/2020.