|Location||Lebanon, Mount Lebanon|
|Central coordinates||35o 38.12' East 33o 50.84' North|
|Altitude||95 - 1,520m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Ornithological information The Beirut River Valley IBA, and particularly its upper reaches, is undoubtedly one of the most important locations for raptor migration in Lebanon. Over 70 000 soaring birds of 33 different species were counted over Bhamdoun (33° 48’ 33.72” N, 35° 39’ 35.22” E; 1080 m asl) during the 2006 autumn count alone. This included 51 000 European Honey-buzzards and over 5000 each of Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes, Common Buzzard Buteo buteo and Lesser Spotted Eagle. Ten records of Crested Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus will be the first for the country if accepted by the Lebanese Rare Birds Committee. It is also important for soaring birds in the spring, with White Stork and White Pelican being the major species recorded (c8000 and 3500 respectively recorded in spring 2006). Other migrants, principally European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, European Bee-eater Merops apiaster and Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica also pass through in large numbers. Nine species with unfavourable conservation status have been recorded here on migration: Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus, Lesser Kestrel,Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, Saker Falcon Falco cherrug, Red Kite Milvus milvus,Egyptian Vulture, Pallid Harrier, Greater Spotted Eagle and Eastern Imperial Eagle.
Site description This site is a deep river valley carved by the Beirut river, extending 20 km eastwards from the outskirts of Beirut on the western slopes of the Mount Lebanon range.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes||passage||2006||12,694-72,410 individuals||good||A4iv|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Shrubland||Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation||25%|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||25%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Management considerations The IBA stretches across several municipalities and currently does not have any formal protection. While hunting has an obvious direct effect on birds, there are many other threats which pose a potential or actual risk to the habitats in the IBA. These include fire,urban development, deforestation, water pollution and overgrazing.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Beirut River Valley. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2013
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