|Location||Iran, Islamic Republic of, Sistan and Baluchestan|
|Central coordinates||61o 45.00' East 31o 20.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See boxes for key species. An important wintering area for ducks and Fulica atra and a staging area for a wide variety of species, including many shorebirds. In wet years, the wetlands may also be important for breeding waterfowl. Circus aeruginosus is present all year, with up to 45 in winter.
Site description The Hamoun-i Puzak is a freshwater lake of c.35,000 ha, with extensive reedbeds, in the Sistan basin. Most of the lake lies in Afghanistan, but c.10,000 ha in the south-west is within Iran. The entire lake is very shallow, probably not exceeding 1 m deep. The Iranian portion consists of a complex of open-water areas with rich submerged vegetation (principally Ceratophyllum) and extensive Typha and Phragmites. The Hamoun-i Puzak receives most of its water from the Parian branch of the Hirmand river which enters the lake in the north and east. The Puzak is the first of the three hamouns to fill during wet periods and probably never dries out completely, even in the severest droughts. In early 1992, following a series of wet years, the wetlands were in excellent condition, with clear water, rich submerged vegetation and extensive reedbeds. The site includes the marshes around Takht-e Edalat (formerly Takht-e Shah) and Mahmoodi. Vast beds of Phragmites cover much of the Hamoun-i Puzak, and there is relatively little open water. On the Iranian side of the border, Typha now dominates, having replaced Phragmites since the 1970s, apparently as a result of heavy grazing. The wetland is fringed with Tamarix thickets and the adjacent land is degraded steppe and irrigated cultivation. There are several small villages on the edge of the marsh, and, though primarily dependent on livestock breeding, the local people are increasingly taking advantage of the lake's rich fishery. Reeds are cut and used locally as forage for livestock, for constructing boats, for fabricating wind-breaks and as fuel.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greylag Goose Anser anser||winter||1970-1977||2,450 individuals||good||B1i||Least Concern|
|Gadwall Anas strepera||winter||1970-1977||4,500 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope||winter||1970-1977||2,500 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Mallard Anas platyrhynchos||winter||1970-1977||12,100 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata||winter||1970-1977||18,100 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Common Teal Anas crecca||winter||1970-1977||58,000 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Common Pochard Aythya ferina||winter||1970-1977||8,000 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca||winter||1970-1977||30 individuals||good||B1i||Near Threatened|
|White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala||winter||1970||42 individuals||good||A1, B2||Endangered|
|Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris||breeding||1973||3 breeding pairs||good||B2||Least Concern|
|Great Egret Casmerodius albus||winter||1970-1977||1,200 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus||winter||1977-1992||75-82 individuals||good||A1, A4i, B1i||Vulnerable|
|White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla||winter||1977||7 individuals||good||A1||Least Concern|
|Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca||winter||1977||5 individuals||good||B2||Vulnerable|
|Common Coot Fulica atra||winter||1970-1977||37,000 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Common Crane Grus grus||winter||1970-1977||450 individuals||good||B1i||Least Concern|
|Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus||passage||1977||650 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta||winter||1977||130 individuals||good||B1i||Least Concern|
|Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa||winter||1970-1977||5,500 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Near Threatened|
|Dead Sea Sparrow Passer moabiticus||resident||1977||uncommon [units unknown]||-||B3||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||1970-1977||-||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Hamun-e-Puzak, south end||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||10,000||protected area contained by site||10,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||minor|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||67%|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
Management considerations The site is not legally protected, although personnel of the Department of the Environment try to maintain some control in the region and have a small office at Gorgori near the wetland. The entire wetland area was designated a Ramsar Site in 1975. It has been recommended that the Hamoun Protected Area (see site 087) be extended eastwards to incorporate the Iranian portion of the Hamoun-i Puzak; ideally, the new boundaries should follow those of the Ramsar Site. Irrigation schemes on the Hirmand river, in both Afghanistan and Iran, have caused some reduction in the flow into the Hamoun-i Puzak. Recent developments likely to affect the Hamoun-i Puzak wetlands include the construction of a number of major irrigation canals taking water directly from the Hirmand river, and the construction of a large reservoir (Chahnimeh) in the desert east of Zabol, supplied by a feeder canal from the Parian branch of the Hirmand.
During the last decade, there has been a major change in the dominant vegetation of the reedbeds, with Typha having almost completely replaced Phragmites. It is supposed that the severe drought of the 1980s and extremely heavy grazing of Phragmites are responsible for this. Large numbers of livestock have been brought from the Hamoun-i Hirmand and Hamoun-i Sabari marshes, and the numbers are said to have increased from c.10,000 to 26,000. This intensive grazing and large-scale cutting of reeds for fodder may cause permanent damage to the marsh vegetation.
References Carp (1980), Petocz et al. (1976), Ramsar Convention Bureau (1993), Scott (1975a, 1976a,c, 1978b, 1980, 1991, in press), Summers et al. (1987).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South end of the Hamoun-i Puzak. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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