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Location Iran, Islamic Republic of, Fars
Central coordinates 53o 30.00' East  29o 40.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2
Area 338,000 ha
Altitude 1,525 - 2,597m
Year of IBA assessment 1994





Site description The site lies in the eastern Zagros Mountains, 50-160 km east of Shiraz, and includes two very large salt-lakes, Tashk and Bakhtegan, in an internal drainage basin at 1,525 m, the intervening steppic plains and hills (to 2,597 m), and a large area of permanent freshwater marshes and seasonally flooded plains along the lower Kur river to the west (Kamjan Marshes). Lake Tashk is fed by overflow from the Kamjan Marshes at its west end and by a large permanent spring at Gumoon in the north-west. Lake Bakhtegan receives the bulk of its water from the main channel of the Kur which enters at the west. The two lakes are normally separated by narrow strips of land but may be joined during very wet winters to form a single expanse of water covering up to 136,500 ha. After several years of low rainfall, on the other hand, both lakes may dry out completely except in the vicinity of the main springs (e.g. Gumoon Spring at the north-west corner of Lake Tashk and Sahlabad Spring on the south shore of Lake Bakhtegan). Both lakes have an extraordinary range of salinities. In January 1992, the lakes were almost fully flooded, following several years of above-average rainfall. The lakes are oligotrophic and support a submerged vegetation of various algae, Chara, Ruppia and Althenia. Fringing vegetation consists of Tamarix, Suaeda, Cressa and Salicornia, and the area between the lakes comprises sparsely vegetated mountain ranges with some Pistacia woodland and steppic Artemisia plains.

Kamjan Marshes (29°40'N 53°05'E) formerly comprised c.10,000 ha of permanent and seasonal freshwater marshes, mainly reedbeds. Drainage of the wetland for rice farming began in 1967, and much has now been converted to agriculture. However, although the marshes have been extensively modified by the drainage canals, 5,250 ha of wetland remains, including expanses of wet mudflats, Phragmites and other emergent aquatic vegetation along canals, and large areas of rice fields. Furthermore, a large portion of the reclaimed land remains uncultivated because of a shortage of water for irrigation and because of the high salt content of the soils. Some irrigation canals are already silting up, and parts of the drained land are reverting to marsh. In addition, new marshes have developed at the mouths of the three main drainage canals where they enter the western ends of Lake Tashk and Lake Bakhtegan. The marshes are dominated by Carex, Phragmites, Chenopodiaceae and grasses. Livestock are grazed in the marshes and around the lake margins.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  1977-1992  14,550-104,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus winter  1972  90 individuals  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons winter  1970-1977  154 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Greylag Goose Anser anser winter  1977-1992  740-8,245 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea passage  1977  4,200 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea winter  1977-1992  2,130-13,400 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna winter  1977-1992  5,700-10,700 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Gadwall Anas strepera winter  1977-1992  2,000-8,300 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope winter  1977-1992  4,800-14,300 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos winter  1977-1992  13,500-127,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata winter  1977-1992  3,500-14,400 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  1977-1992  48,800-58,800 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris breeding  1970  100 breeding pairs  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  1987-1992  1,500-5,000 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  1977-1992  50,000-73,430 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
White Stork Ciconia ciconia winter  1970-1977  550 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus winter  1970-1977  445 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Great Egret Casmerodius albus winter  1977-1992  111-340 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus non-breeding  1977  300 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  1987-1992  3-67 individuals  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga winter  1977  6 individuals  good  B2  Vulnerable 
White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla winter  1977  15 individuals  good  A1, B2  Least Concern 
Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata non-breeding  1974  30 individuals  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Common Coot Fulica atra winter  1970-1977  29,300 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Crane Grus grus winter  1977-1992  750-3,427 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus passage  1977  350 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus resident  1977  35 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus winter  1977-1992  220-450 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta passage  1977  1,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  1977-1992  500-777 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus passage  1977  1,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  1970-1977  800 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  1970-1977  4,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Near Threatened 
Dunlin Calidris alpina passage  1977  6,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei winter  1977-1992  750-2,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1977-1992  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bakhtegan National Park 160,000 protected area contained by site 143,125  
Bakhtegan Wildlife Refuge 200,404 protected area contained by site 184,695  
Neiriz Lakes and Kamjan Marshes Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 108,000 protected area contained by site 108,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   major
Grassland   major
Wetlands (inland)   42%
Artificial - aquatic   2%
Forest   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 97%
rangeland/pastureland major
agriculture minor
hunting minor

Other biodiversity Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Ursus arctos (rare), Caracal caracal (rare), Panthera pardus (rare), Gazella subgutturosa (rare), Capra hircus aegagrus (rare) and Ovis ammon (rare).

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

References Carp (1980), Cornwallis (1968a,b), Firouz et al. (1970), Ramsar Convention Bureau (1993), Scott (1973a, 1976a,b,c, 1980, in press), Summers et al. (1987).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Bakhtegan, Lake Tashk and Kamjan marshes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/04/2014

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