Shur Gol, Yadegarlu and Dorgeh Sangi lakes

Country/territory: Iran, Islamic Republic of

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2 (1994)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 2,500 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
1994 not assessed medium not assessed
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Site description (1994 baseline)
The lakes lie at 1,290 m on the plains to the south of Lake Uromiyeh, 7–10 km south of the south-east corner of the lake and c.30-35 km north-west of Mahabad. Shur Gol and the associated Hassanlu marshes (37°01'N 45°28'E, 2,000 ha) consist of a shallow, brackish to saline lake and marshland fed by local rainfall, springs, seepages and small streams. Flooding occurs in autumn and winter, but drainage is virtually closed and the complex dries out completely only in very dry years. The much smaller wetlands of Yadegarlu (37°02'N 45°32'E, 350 ha) and Dorgeh Sangi (36°59'N 45°34'E, 150 ha) lying a few kilometres to the east and south-east are shallow freshwater lakes with peripheral eutrophic marshes. Both are subject to wide fluctuations in water level, and are often completely frozen in winter. The extensive marshes at Shur Gol and Yadegarlu are dominated by Carex and grasses. There is relatively little aquatic vegetation at Dorgeh Sangi, where extensive bare mudflats are exposed when water is low. The surrounding land includes wheat fields on the rolling hills and plains to the north, and more intensive agriculture in the vicinity of the villages to the south.

Key biodiversity
See box for key species. The wetlands are especially important for breeding waterfowl, notably Plegadis falcinellus, Marmaronetta angustirostris, Oxyura leucocephala and Glareola pratincola, and passage ducks, Fulica atra and shorebirds, and large numbers of waterfowl visit to feed in summer, including Pelecanus onocrotalus (see box), Ciconia ciconia (150; also breeds in the area), Platalea leucorodia (100) and Phoenicopterus ruber (1,000). When not frozen, the lakes also support large numbers of wintering waterfowl, mainly dabbling ducks and F. atra. A small flock of Cygnus columbianus occurred regularly in the early 1970s (the only regular wintering site in Iran), but there have been no confirmed records of the species at the site since then. Anser albifrons and A. anser have been present 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 (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Shur Gol, Yadegarlu and Dorgeh Sangi lakes. Downloaded from on 29/02/2024.