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Location Iraq, Maysan
Central coordinates 47o 25.00' East  31o 45.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2
Area 15,000 ha
Altitude 8 m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Nature Iraq (Affiliate)

Site description Haur Om Am Nyaj is a large wetland about 20 km south-east of Amara. It comprises extensive Typha beds with many areas of open water and fast-running creeks, and is partly permanent and partly seasonal. The haur lies at the north-western extremity of Haur Al Hawizeh and is fed by the Al Kahala (Chahala) river, a distributary of the Tigris. The Qalit Salih ponds (31°30'N 47°20'E, 100 ha) lie at the southern end of Haur Om Am Nyaj, and are a group of fresh to brackish impoundments used for duck-netting, on the east bank of the River Tigris near the town of Qalit Salih, west of the Haur Al Hawizeh marshes.

Key Biodiversity Haur Om Am Nyaj was visited briefly in January 1975, and found to be an important area for Phalacrocorax pygmeus. The Qalit Salih ponds were visited in January 1979; species included Pelecanus onocrotalus (92), Phoenicopterus ruber (500), Anas crecca (10,000) and Recurvirostra avosetta (250). There was a breeding colony of c.200 Nycticorax nycticorax on the Al Kahala river in the 1970s and a 'very big roost' of N. nycticorax near Qalit Salih in the 1910s may have been the same site.

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
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris breeding  1997  50-249 individuals  poor  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
African Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus winter  1979  4 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax breeding  1977  200 breeding pairs  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax winter  1975  250 individuals  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  1985  12 individuals  poor  B2  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1975  106 individuals  poor  A1, B2  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1975  20,000 individuals  poor  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high not assessed negligible

Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - large dams happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high

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


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
unknown -
hunting -

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 Carp (1975a), Scott and Carp (1982), Ticehurst et al. (1921-1922).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Haur Om am Nyaj. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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