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Location Iran, Islamic Republic of, Sistan and Baluchestan
Central coordinates 60o 20.00' East  25o 20.00' North
IBA criteria A1, B1i, B3
Area 33,500 ha
Altitude 0 - 50m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description Chahbahar Bay, on the coast of south-east Iranian Baluchistan, is an almost circular bay c.22 km across and 18 km from north to south, with an entrance 14 km wide between rocky headlands. The shore is a sand beach backed by a broad belt of low dunes. There is a large creek with extensive intertidal mudflats near the small fishing village of Konarak on the west side of the bay (Khor Konarak, 25°20'N 60°20'E). The much larger harbour town of Chahbahar is situated in the lee of the rocky headland at the east side. The sand beaches and tidal mudflats lack vegetation other than algae. The coastal dunes support typical vegetation, while the inland plain supports an open woodland of Acacia, Prosopis, Ziziphus and Tamarix, with large areas of bare sandflats. Land ownership is public.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The site has little importance for breeding waterbirds, although Burhinus recurvirostris is resident. A small flock of Pelecanus crispus winters, along with reasonable numbers of shorebirds and large numbers of gulls and terns, notably Larus genei, L. cachinnans/L. argentatus and Sterna sandvicensis. Other wintering waterfowl include many Podiceps cristatus. The dunes, open thorn woodland and rocky hills around the bay support a typical Baluchi avifauna including Francolinus pondicerianus, Athene brama, Calandrella raytal, Hirundo obsoleta and Oenanthe alboniger.

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
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  1977  48 individuals  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris resident  1977  2 breeding pairs  medium  B3  Near Threatened 
Larus cachinnans winter  1977  3,500 individuals  good  B1i  Not Recognised 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport minor
fisheries/aquaculture major

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

References Scott (1975b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Chahbahar Bay and Khor Konarak. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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