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Location Iraq, Diyala
Central coordinates 44o 50.00' East  33o 55.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2
Area 2,000 ha
Altitude 40 - 45m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Nature Iraq (Affiliate)

Site description A group of marshes in the Diyala valley between Baquba and Shahraban, c.75 km north-east of Baghdad. These include Haur Abu Abbas (33°50'N 44°45'E, a shallow freshwater lake, c.500-1,000 ha), Haur Shaikh Sayed (33°51'N 44°46'E, by 1972 a lake of only 10 ha, almost drained), Haur Al Ahmar (34°00'N 44°55'E, freshwater, c.600 ha), Haur Al Habara, Haur Abdul Warid, Haur Al Ugur (34°00'N 44°55'E) and a rain-flooded area near Shahraban (Al Miqdadiyah). At Haur Al Ahmar the flat shore is covered with dense reedbeds, and mudflats are exposed at low water; the area surrounding the southern shore area is fertile cultivation, with cotton, corn, date-palm groves and orchards, and the lake serves for irrigation of these.

Key Biodiversity The site is important for wintering waterbirds, e.g. 39,900 wildfowl were present in January 1968. Other wintering species include Circus aeruginosus (17), Remiz pendulinus (4, Haur Al Ahmar) and Corvus frugilegus (5,000, Haur Al Ahmar); Anthus spinoletta is common. There is little information from other times of year, but Coracias garrulus has bred. The entire area was listed as a wetland of international importance by Carp (1980).

Non-bird biodiversity: No information available to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus resident  1985  present  B2  Least Concern 
Gadwall Mareca strepera winter  1967-1968  3,004-6,000 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1967-1973  2,070-5,000 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  1967-1973  3,357-8,650 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  1967-1968  115-180 individuals  poor  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  1967-1968  515-1,000 individuals  poor  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Near Threatened 
White Stork Ciconia ciconia winter  1979  571 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus winter  1979  255 individuals  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus breeding  1985  abundant  B1i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1967-1973  20,000 individuals  poor  A4iii   


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
hunting major

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Pavel Ctyroky.

References Ctyroký (1987), Georg and Vielliard (1970), Koning and Dijksen (1973), Marchant and Macnab (1962).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Baquba wetlands. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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