North Ibn Najm

Country/territory: Iraq

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A4i (2014)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 1,789 ha

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
North Ibn Najm (locally known as Garrat Sayid Jafar) is a small, isolated marsh that receives water from the surrounding network of canals bringing drainage water from rice fields, farms and orchards that surround the site. This patch of wetland (along with Ibn Najm (IQ063)) are the last remaining wetlands from the original Ibn Najm that covered a large area at the intersection of Najaf, Babil, and Qadissiya Governorates, described by Evans (1994) as a 10,000 ha freshwater marsh of possibly great importance for wintering waterbirds and was listed as a wetland of international importance (IBA026). The geology of the area is Mesopotamian alluvium, mainly silts

Key biodiversity
Additional Important Bird Observations: During the surveys, 37 bird species were observed. In addition to those listed in the table above, the site supported eight breeding Sahara-Sindian Desert biome-restricted species but these did not trigger inclusion under the A3 criterion. The endemic race of Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis iraquensis and endemic race of Hooded Crow Corvus cornix capellanus (Mesopotamian Crow) breed at the site. Other Important Fauna: There were a few reports from locals of either Red Fox or Ruppell’s Fox Vulpes sp. (species could not be distinguished) and Golden Jackal Canis aureus. Fish: A Fisheries Frame survey was conducted here in 2009. A total of eight species were found. Ten fishing boats were observed using fixed nets (mesh sizes of 0.5-1 cm) and electro-fishing. The daily catch average was estimated at 3 kg/boat for net fishing and 7 kg/boat for electro-fishing. The following significant species were observed: Alburnus mossulensis, Carasobarbus luteus, Carassius auratus, Cyprinus carpio, Leuciscus vorax, Liza abu, Mesopotamichthys sharpeyi, and Silurus triostegus. The introduced invasive species Tilapia zillii was also reported by fishermen. Phragmites australis, which is an important plant for local people for economic and cultural heritage reasons.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: North Ibn Najm. Downloaded from on 26/09/2022.