|Central coordinates||44o 55.00' East 36o 10.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A4iii, B2, B3|
|Altitude||300 - 600m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information The lakes are likely to be important for wintering waterfowl, but no surveys have been carried out. The three river valleys supported large numbers of wintering ducks in the 1960s (Savage 1968). The surrounding hills and crags are likely to support important numbers of breeding raptors, e.g. vultures, eagles and falcons. Other breeding species include Ciconia ciconia, Alectoris chukar and Sitta tephronota.
Site description Dukan and Darbandikhan are two dammed lakes, each c.30 km long, lying in the foothills of Kurdistan in north-east Iraq. Dukan (36°10'N 44°55'E, c.25,000 ha) is in the Lesser Zab river valley, and Darbandikhan (35°10'N 45°45'E, c.7,500 ha) is in the Diyala river valley. Contrary to most maps, construction of the Bakhma dam (36°45'N 44°15'E) in the Great Zab river valley has not been completed, having presumably been abandoned in 1991, and there is as yet no lake there. The general aspect is of deep valleys eroded into limestone country, with steep and craggy slopes. There are patches of semi-natural parkland of small oak Quercus and juniper Juniperus trees on slopes, particularly extensive and undisturbed around Bakhma. There is limited cultivation of tobacco, rice, wheat and vines on the flood-plains in the valleys; the main land-use is as rangeland for goats and sheep. Dukan and Darbandikhan dams are presumably used to generate hydroelectric power.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus||breeding||1985||present [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus||resident||1985||common [units unknown]||-||B2||Endangered|
|Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus||breeding||1985||present [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Radde's Accentor Prunella ocularis||winter||1985||present [units unknown]||-||B3||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||1985||20,000 individuals||poor||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Flora: the general area is very important for harbouring wild relatives of important cereal crop species.
Management considerations No conservation measures are known to have been taken. There is little information on current threats to the site; however, the area around Bakhma is relatively remote and sparsely populated, and deforestation is at a relatively low level compared to some other areas of Kurdistan (e.g. the Sulaimaniyah district). No conservation measures are known to have been proposed.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bakhma, Dukan and Darbandikhan dams. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2013
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