One of the largest coastal lagoons in Oman, c.2.6 km long, on the Salalah coastal plain east of and close to the town of Taqah. There is substantial but variable freshwater inflow from Wadi Darbat. Its sandbar is occasionally breached, when the lagoon becomes temporarily tidal. The khawr is cliff-girt along its central part, and a small hill occurs at either side of its mouth. The water surface is partly open, with a dense fringe of Juncus, Phragmites, Typha and sedges and grasses. There are beds of water-weed Chara. An important antiquity site lies just east of the lagoon. A road leads to the mouth of the khawr from Taqah, and the sandbar is open to the public. The vegetation is heavily grazed and browsed by camels, cattle and goats.
See box for key species. The most important khawr in Dhofar for wintering and passage waterbirds, with a greater diversity of species and larger numbers of birds present than at other khawrs. Other wintering species include wildfowl (up to 1,200 birds of 16 species), Aquila clanga (max. 3, November) and Hydrophasianus chirurgus (50, February). Large numbers of Ardea cinerea (40, April) and Ciconia ciconia (150, November) occur on migration. The number of species recorded overall (203) is high, reflecting the occurrence of many migrant species, a wide variety of breeders including Afrotropical species, and scarce or vagrant freshwater waterbirds.
Non-bird biodiversity: Flora: at least three species on the Salalah coastal plain are endemic or near-endemic to Oman, and some may be present at this site.
Data-sheet compiled by Simon Albrecht; summary bird data supplied by Oman Bird Records Committee (per Jens Eriksen).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khawr Rouri. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/10/2022.