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Location Iraq, Al-Basrah
Central coordinates 47o 58.00' East  30o 27.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i, B1i, B2
Area 43,000 ha
Altitude 3 m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Nature Iraq (Affiliate)

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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris breeding  1997  250-999 individuals  poor  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga 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  A1, A2, B2  Endangered 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
unknown -

Other biodiversity None known 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 Carp (1975a), Georg and Vielliard (1970), Savage (1968), Scott and Carp (1982).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Shatt Al Arab marshes. Downloaded from on 20/10/2014

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