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Location Iraq, Al-Basrah
Central coordinates 48o 32.00' East  29o 55.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2, B3
Area 126,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 2m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Nature Iraq (Affiliate)

Site description Enormous areas of swampy grassflats (c.90,000 ha) and intertidal mudflats (c.36,000 ha) backed by a belt of date palms and then by silt desert, immediately west of the point where the Shatt Al Arab enters the Gulf, and of the town of Fao. Tidal amplitude is large (3 m or more). There is a major oil terminal.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
African Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus winter  1925  common  B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Crab-plover Dromas ardeola non-breeding  1985  present  B3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  1979  500 individuals  poor  B1i  Near Threatened 
Sterna nilotica winter  1979  200 individuals  poor  B1i  Not Recognised 
Grey Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus breeding  1985  present  B3  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline   major
Artificial - terrestrial   minor
Desert   minor
Sea   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
unknown -

Other biodiversity No information available to BirdLife International.

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

References Cumming (1899, 1918), Georg and Vielliard (1970), Moore and Boswell (1956-1957), Ticehurst et al. (1921-1922, 1926).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khawr Abdallah. Downloaded from on 23/10/2014

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