|Central coordinates||47o 41.09' East 31o 34.63' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3|
|Altitude||4 - 11m|
|Year of IBA assessment||1994|
Summary 2014 updates. Hawizeh Marsh became the first Ramsar site in Iraq, designated when Iraq signed the Convention for Protecting Internationally Important Wetlandson 17/02/2008 (known as the Ramsar Convention (Ramsar, 2011). The total area of the designated Ramsar site is 137,700 ha. The estimated 1973 pre-drainage area of Hawizeh Marsh was 243,500 ha, and about 56% of the original area was included in the Ramsar site designation
Site description Situated to the east of the River Tigris, Haur Al Hawizeh (Hawaizah) and its associated marshes cover an area of approximately 2,200 km2 between Amara and Basrah (31°00'N--31°45'N, 47°25'E--47°50'E). A small portion of the haur extends over the border into Iranian territory, where it is known as the Hoor Al Azim. The wetland is fed by floodwaters from the River Tigris and from the Karkheh river in the east (in Iran); it is bordered in the north by the Musharra Canal and in the south by the Shatt Al Arab. The marsh is partly seasonal and partly permanent. The latter area has extensive Phragmites reedbeds alternating with open sheets of water. The Nahrsabla Marshes (31°30'N 47°35'E) are an area of predominantly seasonal marsh in the north-eastern portion of the haur, near the Iranian border.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus||resident||1985||common||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus||winter||1960-1969||present||-||A1, B2||Vulnerable|
|Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris||winter||1985||present||-||B2||Least Concern|
|African Darter Anhinga rufa||resident||1915||common||-||B1i, B2||Least Concern|
|Grey Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus||breeding||1985||present||-||A3, B3||Least Concern|
|Basra Reed-warbler Acrocephalus griseldis||breeding||1985||abundant||-||A1, A2, A3, B2||Endangered|
|Iraq Babbler Turdoides altirostris||resident||1985||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||1968-1979||500,000-999,999 individuals||poor||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Hawizeh Marshes (Haur Al-Hawizeh)||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||137,700||is identical to site||137,700|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - aquatic||minor|
|Artificial - terrestrial||minor|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Lutra perspicillata (K; the subspecies L. p. maxwelli is endemic to the marshes and endangered), Gerbillus mesopotamiae (endemic).
Protection status With the listing of Hawizeh as Iraq’s first Ramsar Site, a management plan was developed but remains largely unimplemented
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 (1980), Georg and Savage (1970b), North (1993), Pearce (1993), Prentice (1993), Savage (1968), Ticehurst et al. (1921-1922). Al-Sheikhly, O.F. and Nader, I.A. (2013). The status of the Iraqi smooth-coated otter Lutrogaleperspicillata, Hayman 1956 and Eurasian otter Lutralutra, Linnaeus 1758 in Iraq.IUCN Otter SG Bulletin 30(1): 18-30. Coad B. W. (2010). Freshwater Fishes of Iraq. PENSOFT Publishers, Sofia-Moscow. NO.93. Evans, M. I. (1994). Important Bird Areas in the Middle East.Birdlife Conservation Series No. 2. Nature Iraq (2008a) Management Plan for the Hawizeh Marsh Ramsar Site of Iraq. Second Draft. Volume 1: Background, Vision, Principles and Annexes. A Report Prepared for the Iraq National Marshes and Wetlands Committee. December 2008. Compiled and Edited by C.D.A. Rubec. Retrieved on 16 September 2012 from http://www.natureiraq.org/site/sites/default/files/Hawizeh%20Plan%202nd%20Draft%20Volume%201%20Dec%201%202008.pdf Nature Iraq (2008b) Management Plan for the Hawizeh Marsh Ramsar Site of Iraq. Second Draft. Volume 2: Management Issues and Recommendation. A Report Prepared for the Iraq National Marshes and Wetlands Committee. December 2008. Compiled and Edited by C.D.A. Rubec Retrieved on 16 September 2012 from http://www.natureiraq.org/site/sites/default/files/Hawizeh%20Plan%202nd%20Draft%20Volume%201%20Dec%201%202008.pdf Omer, S. A., Wronski, T., Alwash, A., Maha H. E., Mohammed, O. B., Lerp, H. (2012). Evidence for persistence and a major range extension of the Arabian Smooth-coated Otter, Lutrogale perspicillata maxwelli (Mustellidae, Carnivora) in Iraq. Folia Zoologica. Ramsar (2011).National Report on the Implementation of the Ramsar convention on Wetlands.National Reports to be submitted to the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, Romania, June 2012. Retrieved on 16 September 2012 from http://www.ramsar.org/pdf/cop11/nr/cop11-nr-iraq.pdf.
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