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Location Azerbaijan, Garadag
Central coordinates 50o 25.00' East  40o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i
Area 800 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Azerbaijan Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)

Site description The site is the tip of the Absheron peninsula near Baku, formerly with sandy beaches, about a third of which was flooded as the level of the Caspian Sea rose during the 1980s. As a result of water level raising the tip of the spit got detached and form a long island named Suiti. The flooded area is now being colonized by reeds. All land-uses are prohibited.

Key Biodiversity The IBA is notable for passage and wintering Pelecaniformes and Ciconiiformes. At least 20,000 ducks and 40,000 Fulica atra migrate through the area. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Phalacrocorax pygmeus (non-breeding: 2-4 winter in some years), Circus macrourus (3-4 winter).

Non-bird biodiversity: One of most important place for the Caspian Seal Phoca caspica in Azerbaijan. It is possible to find 100-200 individuals of them in any season of the year.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus winter  1996-2005  45-103 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna winter  1996-2005  10-2,213 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos winter  1996-2005  1,150-23,000 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina winter  1996-2005  500-9,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina winter  1996-2005  2,000-5,600 individuals  medium  B1i  Vulnerable 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  1996-2005  22 individuals  medium  A1  Near Threatened 
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula passage  10,000 individuals  B1i  Least Concern 
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula winter  1996-2005  8,645-15,043 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1996-2005  5-20 individuals  medium  A1  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo passage  1996-2005  200-30,000 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Coot Fulica atra passage  1996-2005  4,600-40,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Larus cachinnans breeding  1996-2004  3,000 breeding pairs  poor  B1i  Not Recognised 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  1996-2004  2,000 breeding pairs  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  1996-2004  6,000 breeding pairs  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1996-2005  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1996-2005  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1996-2005  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Absheron National Park 784 protected area contained by site 783  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
info avialable at AOS 2005


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Water fringe vegetation  -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  60%
Desert Semidesert  10%
Coastline Sand dunes & beaches  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
military 10%
Notes: There is a military base close to the Nature Reserve gate.
nature conservation and research 90%
Notes: There is a State Nature Reserve (former Sanctuary) cover about 90% of this site. It is proposed to create a Natural Park on this territory.

Protection status National High International NoneIBA is covered by Nature Reserve.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Shahdidi spit. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife