Jabal Makhool

Country/territory: Iraq

IBA Criteria met: A1 (2017)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 35,257 ha

Protection status:

Nature Iraq
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2014 very high not assessed negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The site contains rocky hills with wooded slopes within the Irano-Turanian and Sahara-Sindian Desert biomes and includes both the Makhool foothills that extend from the western borders of Al-Fattha (SD6) toward Asherkat and the steppe situated on the eastern side of the main highway linking Baiji and Asherkat. Two habitat types were surveyed: desert shrubs vegetation and steppe-herbaceous vegetation. The geology consists of marls, siltstones, sandstone, limestone, and gypsum; and the soil is clay.

Key biodiversity
Additional Important Bird Observations: During the surveys, 35 bird species were seen. Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus and European Roller Coracias garrulus (both Near Threatened) were recorded on passage, and three Irano-Turanian and eight Sahara-Sindian biome-restricted species were breeding, but these did not trigger inclusion under criterion A3. Other Important Fauna: Local hunters and farmers have reported large packs of Grey Wolf Canis lupus near Makhool that attacked sheep at night, and they successfully hunted several during 2009 and 2010. Striped Hyena Hyaena hyaena have been killed by locals. Hunters have also reported Goitered Gazelle Gazella subgutturosa (Vulnerable). A Wild Cat Felis silvestris was killed by a farmer near Baiji. The site is rich in different reptile species, including many Lacertidae species such as, Arnold's Fringe-fingered Lizard Acanthodactylus opheodurus. The Levant Skink Trachylepis aurata wasobserved near the vegetated slopes of Al–Mussahag. The following important snakes were recorded: Large Whip Snake Dolichophisjugularis, Collared Dwarf Snake Eirenis collaris, Persian Horned Viper Pseudocerastes persicus, and Desert Cobra Walterinnesia morgani.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Jabal Makhool. Downloaded from on 14/12/2019.