email a friend
printable version
Location Iraq, Salah ad-Din
Central coordinates 44o 0.00' East  34o 15.00' North
IBA criteria A1, B3
Area 128,000 ha
Altitude 100 m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Nature Iraq (Affiliate)

Site description Shari lake (5,000-8,000 ha) lies east of the Tigris, c.30 km north-east of Samara. It is largely rain-fed and saline, and there are some small Phragmites reedbeds. The site includes a large area of semi-desert (c.120,000 ha) on the western side of the lake and extending c.20 km from it, the habitat being of similar type to that at Mahzam (see site 007), though with more bushes and a denser growth of grass in spring, particularly close to the lake. Part of the area is farmed, and sheep graze freely, with extra stock being brought in during spring to graze near the lake. There is commercial salt extraction at the lake.

Key Biodiversity Other breeding species include Cursorius cursor, Pterocles alchata (max. 2,000 birds), Pycnonotus leucotis and Oenanthe isabellina (probably). Small numbers of waterfowl winter, and notable passage migrants include Charadrius asiaticus (max. 20).

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V). Reptiles: the monitor Varanus griseus (rare).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
See-see Partridge Ammoperdix griseogularis resident  1991-1992  20 individuals  poor  B3  Least Concern 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris resident  1991-1992  2 individuals  poor  A1  Vulnerable 
Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii resident  1991-1992  4 individuals  poor  B3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 medium not assessed negligible

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

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


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Desert   95%
Wetlands (inland)   5%
Artificial - terrestrial   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
rangeland/pastureland 95%
urban/industrial/transport minor
Notes: salt extraction

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Dr Khalid Y. Al-Dabbagh.

References Al-Dabbagh (in prep.).

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Abu Dalaf and Shari lake. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife