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Location Iraq, Al-Anbar
Central coordinates 41o 14.00' East  33o 33.00' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 10,000 ha
Altitude 550 - 650m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Nature Iraq (Affiliate)

Site description Gasr Muhaiwir lies c.80 km east-north-east of Rutbah in Wadi Hauran, the main wadi crossing the western desert of Iraq to the Euphrates. The stony desert carries only a sparse herb growth, and only in the wadi where there are temporary pools and springs is there more abundant vegetation. Summers are extremely hot, while winter temperatures can fall below freezing. There is archaeological evidence in the area of its use by man since Neolithic times.

Key Biodiversity The site's main interest lies in the attraction it holds for spring and autumn migrants crossing a huge area of desert, and large numbers of a wide variety of passerines and other species occur. The desert avifauna includes Cursorius cursor, Ammomanes deserti, Alaemon alaudipes, and Pterocles senegalensis and Eremophila bilopha may also breed.

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
Cursorius cursor breeding  1979  5 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Not Recognised 
Spotted Sandgrouse Pterocles senegallus resident  1979  present  A3  Least Concern 
Greater Hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes resident  1979  10 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti resident  1979  10 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Temminck's Lark Eremophila bilopha resident  1979  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 low not assessed negligible

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now whole area/population (>90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

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


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Desert   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland major

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Pavel Ctyroky.

References Ctyroký (1988, in press).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Gasr Muhaiwir, Wadi Hauran. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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