Imam Sahib

Country/territory: Afghanistan

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4iii (1994)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 20,000 ha

Site description
Lowland flood-plains of the Amu Darya (Oxus) river in northern Afghanistan, c.60 km north of Kunduz, at c.500 m. Extensive swamp woodland formerly dominated this region: vast tracts of reeds Phragmites interspersed with thickets of Tamarix and Salix trees and quite large stands of Elaeagnus woodland. However in recent years no doubt much has been destroyed and turned into cultivation as it has been on the north side of the river in Tajikistan and elsewhere on the river.

Key biodiversity
Virtually unstudied ornithologically but, together with Darqad (site 001) further east along the river, the site was known in the 1970s to harbour the last remnants of Phasianus colchicus bianchii in Afghanistan. Other (probable) breeding species include Marmaronetta angustirostris (not proven but likely), Vanellus leucurus, Acrocephalus concinens, A. melanopogon, Panurus biarmicus and Riparia paludicola. Large numbers of unspecified wildfowl utilize the area on migration.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: in the 1960s the area was extremely important for the last remnants of the threatened subspecies Cervus elaphus bactrianus.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Imam Sahib. Downloaded from on 10/12/2022.