|Central coordinates||47o 58.00' East 30o 27.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4i, B1i, B2|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information According to Savage (1968), the marshes are important for wintering Anser anser and dabbling ducks, mainly Anas platyrhynchos and A. crecca, and breeding Marmaronetta angustirostris. The muddy shores of the Shatt Al Arab are an important feeding area for passage and wintering shorebirds. The area was most recently surveyed in 1968, 1975 and 1979; all visits were in January, and were brief and incomplete; notable winter visitors included Ciconia ciconia (105), Milvus migrans (305) and Vanellus leucurus (50).
Site description These marshes lie along the c.165 km of the Shatt Al Arab waterway from 31°00'N 47°25'E to 29°55'N 48°30'E, mainly between Qurnah and Basrah (c.65 km), and include Haur Al Shaibah (15 km north of Basrah), Qarmat Ali, Khamisiyah and Shafi. Shafi wetland (30°53'N 47°31'E) is a small reed-marsh near the town of Shafi on the Basrah to Amara road, 30 km from Basrah.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris||breeding||1997||-||poor||A1, A4i, B1i, B2||Vulnerable|
|Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga||winter||1975||2 individuals||poor||B2||Vulnerable|
|Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus||winter||1975||60-4,000 individuals||poor||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Basra Reed-warbler Acrocephalus griseldis||breeding||1985||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2, B2||Endangered|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
Management considerations In 1975 the Museum of Natural History of the University of Basrah established a research station at Shafi wetland. Otherwise no conservation measures are known to have been taken. The lower marshes below Basrah are presumably changing their character as less fresh water is reaching the sea and there is increasing encroachment of sea water. However, the current status of these marshes is completely unknown. No conservation measures are known to have been proposed.
References Carp (1975a), Georg and Vielliard (1970), Savage (1968), Scott and Carp (1982).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Shatt Al Arab marshes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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