Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Hima Anjar - Kfar Zabad
35o 57.39' East 33o 45.16' North
Year of IBA assessment
Society for the Protection of Nature and Natural Resources in Lebanon
Summary This freshwater wetland, surrounded by agricultural lands and woodlands, is located in Eastern Bekaa Valley, between the villages of Anjar and Kfar Zabad. It covers a total area of 326ha and holds 69 species of birds. At least 15 breeding pairs of Syrian Serins (Globally threatened) are recorded on site in spring 2005.
Site description Located in the eastern Bekaa valley at the foot of the arid Anti-Lebanon mountain range, the Anjar-K’far Zabad IBA consists mostly of freshwater wetland with some mixed woodland and cultivated fields. There is open scrubby hillside and several commercial fish farms in the southern half of the site.
Key Biodiversity At least 15 pairs of Syrian Serins Serinus syriacus breed in the woods at the southern end of the site. This species is classified as Vulnerable in the 2008 IUCN Red List and is also a restricted range species, found mostly in the Levant, with its breeding stronghold in Lebanon and nearby areas of Jordan and Syria. Although the IBA designation of the site is due to the Syrian Serins, the wetland habitats are included because of their importance in national terms. The reedbeds and grassland hold good numbers of breeding wetland birds and reedbed warblers. Many other birds use the IBA as a migration stopover site or wintering ground. Various species of soaring birds occur on migration, including storks and pelicans in moderate numbers, while raptors are usually relatively few. Marsh Harriers Circus aeruginosus and Long-legged Buzzards Buteo rufinus are regularly seen outside the migration seasons although neither is confirmed as breeding. The farmland, woods and hillside at the periphery of the site hold a broad range of typical commoner species, both on migration and breeding.