|Location||Iraq, Salah ad-Din|
|Central coordinates||43o 50.00' East 34o 15.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4iii, B1i, B1iv, B2, B3|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information A wide range of species breed, including Phalacrocorax pygmeus (possibly: see box), Marmaronetta angustirostris (possibly: see box), Accipiter nisus (probably), Falco naumanni (possibly), Columba palumbus, Halcyon smyrnensis, Ceryle rudis and Pycnonotus leucotis. Tadorna ferruginea has bred in the area. The site is used by large numbers of waterfowl and other waterbirds outside the breeding season; other wintering species include Circus aeruginosus (20) and Ticehurst et al. (1921–1922) noted vast flocks of Eudromias morinellus and several flocks of Eremophila bilopha wintering near Samara. At least 3,000 raptors move through the Tigris valley in this general area on passage. At least 146 species have been recorded at the site.
Site description This lake is c.8 km across and straddles the Tigris, running from the Samara Dam c.25 km north to Al Dor. Soils are mostly alluvial, and in some parts hills reach the river forming cliffs. Elsewhere the river banks are gravel. The lake and marsh above Samara dam extend for more than 5 km, and have large beds of Phragmites and Typha with a rich growth of submerged vegetation, particularly where the water depth is c.1.5 m. Riverine forest dominated by Populus euphratica occurs in patches along the banks and more especially on small islands. Much of the area is cultivated, mainly with date-palm gardens, wheat fields, orchards and some vegetables, and there is grazing by sheep and cattle. Parts of the river bank are used for gravel extraction, some such sites being now filled with water and surrounded by a thick growth of Populus and Tamarix.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|See-see Partridge Ammoperdix griseogularis||resident||1992||frequent [units unknown]||-||B3||Least Concern|
|Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus||resident||1992||common [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Common Pochard Aythya ferina||winter||1992||10,000 individuals||poor||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca||winter||1992||25 individuals||poor||B1i, B2||Near Threatened|
|Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris||winter||1992||1 individuals||poor||B2||Least Concern|
|Goliath Heron Ardea goliath||non-breeding||1992||1 individuals||poor||A4i, B1i, B2||Least Concern|
|Shikra Accipiter badius||breeding||1992||1 breeding pairs||poor||B2||Least Concern|
|Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius||winter||1992||2 individuals||poor||B2||Critically Endangered|
|Grey Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus||breeding||1992||50 breeding pairs||poor||B3||Least Concern|
|Dead Sea Sparrow Passer moabiticus||breeding||1992||30 breeding pairs||poor||B3||Least Concern|
|A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes||passage||1992||3,000 individuals||poor||B1iv|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||1973-1992||20,000 individuals||poor||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||major|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Fish: the river and lake hold endemic cyprinid species. Flora: the general area is very important for harbouring wild relatives of important cereal crop species.
Management considerations The lake appears to be under the control of one important government official for private use and for conservation. Duck hunting is common away from the dam and there is the possibility of the extension of agriculture and of mineral extraction, but there are no other major threats apparent. No conservation measures are known to have been officially proposed.
References Al-Dabbagh (in prep.), Koning and Dijksen (1973).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Samara dam. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2013
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