Ilam area

Country/territory: Iran, Islamic Republic of

IBA Criteria met: A1, B2 (1994)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 36,000 ha

Site description
Rugged limestone ridges and broad valleys in the north-west Zagros Mountains c.10 km north of Ilam (38 km by road). No site boundaries are yet determined for this extensive region. The principal habitats are large tracts of mature forest with Quercus, Pistacia and Acer in the valleys, scrubby Quercus woodland on rocky hillsides, and spectacular limestone ridges and outcrops peaking at 2,650 m. The Quercus forest, very open and park-like in some areas, is among the finest in the northern Zagros, with many very large trees. There is some wheat cultivation.

Key biodiversity
See box for key species. The region possesses a characteristic Zagros Quercus forest avifauna, and is one of the few localities in Iran where Emberiza cineracea is known to breed. Other notable breeding species are Dendrocopos medius, Hirundo obsoleta, Parus lugubris, Lanius nubicus and Petronia xanthocollis. The site is important for Grus grus in winter.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ilam area. Downloaded from on 28/01/2023.