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Location Iraq, Dahuk
Central coordinates 43o 48.08' East  37o 10.80' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, B2, B3
Area 60,584 ha
Altitude 873 - 1,480m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Nature Iraq (Affiliate)

Site description Ser Amadiya is an east-west mountain ridge rising to c.2,000 m, just north-west of the town of Amadiya in Kurdistan and c.20 km south of the Turkish border. The section of the Amadiya valley to the south lies at 1,450-1,550 m, 3 km west of Amadiya. The site includes rocky cliffs at Sulaf and gorges to the south, e.g. Sulaf, Geli-e-Mazurka. The treeline is at c.1,650 m, and the ridge has a grassy saddle at 1,850 m. The area to the north descends through thin scrub and shrubs to scrub Quercus and Juniperus forest with a rocky and grassy floor and numerous streams and springs. Along the valley streams in the south there are Populus trees with grass and scrub, and the valley slopes are rocky, with grass and Quercus bushes. Patches of cultivation, e.g. tobacco fields, surround the small villages. Summers are hot and dry, and winters are cold with snow. 2014 updates. Evans (1994) listed the area as an Important Bird Area (IBA003). The KBA surveys looked at two areas here: Ser Amadiya and Sulav Resort. Ser Amadiya is an ancient town and historical site with about 34 archaeological features, some of which go back to the period of the Assyrians, Medeans, and different Kurdish periods

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The breeding bird community is characteristic of the northern uplands and comprises at least 30 species including Alectoris chukar, Caprimulgus europaeus, Dendrocopos syriacus, Hirundo rupestris, Sylvia hortensis, Parus lugubris, Lanius nubicus, Pyrrhocorax graculus, P. pyrrhocorax and Emberiza hortulana. Both Sitta tephronota and S. neumayer occur, the latter at least breeding. Prunella collaris and Montifringilla nivalis (a flock of c.150) have been noted as non-breeding visitors in March on the snowfields.

Non-bird biodiversity: Flora: the general area is very important for harbouring wild relatives of important cereal crop species.

2014 updates. A total of 74 species was recorded. In addition to those listed in the table, the site also held three Irano-Turanian, one Eurasian Steppe and Desert and one Eurasian High-Montane biome-restricted species. Eastern Cinereous Bunting Emberiza semenowi is Near Threatened. Other Important Fauna: Mammal data were collected in 2010. One local reported a sighting of the globally endangered Persian Fallow Deer Dama mesopotamica in 2006, but this remains unverified. Persian Squirrel Sciurus anomalus was observed, which though a least concern species has a declining population trend and is heavily persecuted for the pet trade in Iraq. There are streams and rivers in the area but no fish survey was conducted.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus resident  1955  1 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Near Threatened 
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus resident  1955  1 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus breeding  1955  1 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Endangered 
Sombre Tit Parus lugubris resident  1963  present  A3  Least Concern 
Western Rock-nuthatch Sitta neumayer resident  1979  common  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Rock-nuthatch Sitta tephronota resident  1959  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis breeding  1979  2 breeding pairs  poor  A3, B3  Least Concern 
Cinereous Bunting Emberiza cineracea breeding  1985  1 individuals  poor  A1, A3, B2  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2014 very high not assessed negligible
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Not assessed  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   major
Shrubland   major
Forest   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland major
agriculture minor
tourism/recreation major

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Pavel Ctyroky.

References Chapman and McGeoch (1956), Harrison (1959), McGeoch (1963), Moore and Boswell (1956-1957).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Ser Amadiya and Sulav Resort . Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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