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Location Iran, Islamic Republic of, West Azarbaijan
Central coordinates 45o 30.00' East  36o 57.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2
Area 1,200 ha
Altitude 1,290 m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description Lake Kobi (Ghopi Bob Ali) is a shallow, eutrophic, fresh to brackish lake with seasonally flooded marshes, on the plains 30 km south of Lake Uromiyeh and c.25 km north-east of Mahabad. The wetland receives its water from local rainfall, several springs, seepages and temporary watercourses fed by snow-melt, overflowing when full into marshland to the north and west. It regularly freezes in winter. The lake supports abundant submerged vegetation; there are extensive sedge marshes around much of the shore, and Phragmites beds occur in the south and to the north-west, together with some grassland. The whole area is surrounded by rolling steppic hills, with scattered settlements and cultivation to the north and south. Grazing of livestock and wildfowl hunting occur. Land ownership is public.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The marshes support a variety of breeding waterfowl, notably Nycticorax nycticorax, Ardeola ralloides, Egretta garzetta, Plegadis falcinellus and Aythya nyroca, and there was a breeding colony of Podiceps nigricollis at the lake in 1972. The lake is an extremely important staging area for ducks, Fulica atra and shorebirds in autumn, regularly holding in excess of 100,000 birds. Species in especially high numbers have included Phoenicopterus ruber, Anas querquedula, A. clypeata, Aythya ferina and F. atra. Large numbers of ducks and F. atra stay on through very mild winters when the lake remains unfrozen. However the figures for F. atra given below date from the 1970s, and in recent years less than 2,000 have been recorded, a major decline.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greylag Goose Anser anser winter  1987-1992  7,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis winter  1970  16 individuals  good  A1, B2  Vulnerable 
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea winter  1970-1977  2,890 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna winter  1987-1992  1,300 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata passage  1977  5,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Garganey Spatula querquedula passage  1977  3,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina passage  1977  20,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca breeding  1977  4 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Near Threatened 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala non-breeding  1977  33 individuals  good  A1  Endangered 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala passage  1977  100 individuals  good  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus passage  1977  6,600 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
White Stork Ciconia ciconia non-breeding  1977  243 individuals  good  B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus breeding  1977  100-150 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax breeding  1977  100 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  1977  100 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Egretta garzetta breeding  1977  100 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Not Recognised 
Great Bustard Otis tarda non-breeding  1977  6 individuals  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Common Coot Fulica atra passage  1977  200,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus passage  1977  600 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Not Recognised 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1977  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

1994 low not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

No known threats no known threats happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lake Kobi Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 1,200 is identical to site 1,200  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   100%
Artificial - terrestrial   major
Grassland   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland minor
hunting minor
nature conservation and research 100%

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.

References Carp (1980), Cornwallis (1976), Ramsar Convention Bureau (1993), Scott (1976a,c, 1978a).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lake Kobi. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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