|Location||Iraq, Salah ad-Din|
|Central coordinates||43o 51.13' East 34o 11.55' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4iii, B1i, B1iv, B2, B3|
|Altitude||68 - 74m|
|Year of IBA assessment||1994|
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. 2014 updates. Samara Wetlands were listed originally as an Important Bird Area (IBA008) list by Evans (1994). They are formed by the Samara Barrage, which was built in 1955 on the Tigris River, near the town of Al-Dure north of Samara City. The barrage regulates the water flow to Al-Tharthar Lake through the Samara (Tharthar) Canal, which extends from Al-Dhloee’a town to the southeast edge of Tharthar Lake.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|See-see Partridge Ammoperdix griseogularis||resident||1992||frequent||-||B3||Least Concern|
|Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus||resident||1992||common||-||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|
|Eurasian 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|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||1973-1992||20,000 individuals||poor||A4iii|
|A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes||passage||1992||3,000 individuals||poor||B1iv|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - 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.
Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Dr Khalid Y. Al-Dabbagh.
References Al-Dabbagh (in prep.), Koning and Dijksen (1973). 2014 updates. Al-Sheikhly, O.F. (2012). The hunting of endangered mammals in Iraq . Wildlife Middle East. (6): 2&3: 10. Al-Sheikhly, O.F. and Nader, I.A. (2013). The status of the Iraqi smooth-coated otter Lutrogale perspicillata, Hayman 1956 and Eurasian otter Lutra lutra, Linnaeus 1758 in Iraq. IUCN Otter SG Bulletin 30(1): 18-30. Evans, M. I. (1994). Important Bird Areas in the Middle East. Birdlife Conservation Series No. 2.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Samara Wetlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/07/2014
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