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Location Iraq, Maysan
Central coordinates 46o 50.00' East  32o 20.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2
Area 33,560 ha
Altitude 8 - 17m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Nature Iraq (Affiliate)

Site description A group of 14 artificial ponds constructed for wildfowl hunting, in the basin of the former Haur Al Haushiya, on the east bank of the River Tigris, north of the village of Al Kumait. 2014 updates. Part of this site, Hor Saaroot (IBA024 in Evans, 1994) is a seasonal marsh on a flat plain running in a narrow band along the eastern part of the Tigris between the towns of Ali Al-Gharbi and Amara. The approximate length is about 60 km and the width approximately 8 km Hoshiya is a flat plain south of Saaroot, which floods during the rainy season. Hoshiya, which was listed by Evans (1994) as IBA028, is really a part of Saaroot (IBA 024). This area also receives some waters from the Tigris when the water level exceeds a certain point, via a canal with a barrage. Some embankments and unpaved roads exist around the area, which are used during summer only The geology of the entire area is Mesopotamian alluvium, mainly silts

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gadwall Mareca strepera winter  1979  1,310 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris breeding  1997  < 50 individuals  poor  A1, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  1979  500 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - aquatic   100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting 100%
water management major
agriculture minor
urban/industrial/transport minor

Other biodiversity No information available to BirdLife International.

Acknowledgements Information compiled by Dr D. A. Scott and D. J. Brooks, reviewed by Dr Khalid Y. Al-Dabbagh and Dr Hanna Y. Siman.

References Georg and Vielliard (1968), Scott and Carp (1982). 2014 updates. 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: Hoshiya and Saaroot. Downloaded from on 23/10/2014

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