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Location Iran, Islamic Republic of, Sistan and Baluchestan
Central coordinates 61o 15.00' East  25o 25.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i, B1i, B2, B3
Area 461,472 ha
Altitude 0 - 650m
Year of IBA assessment 1994





Site description The site comprises the Bahu Kalat Protected Area in the extreme south-east corner of Iranian Baluchistan along the Pakistan border. The reserve comprises arid mountain and semi-arid desert habitats straddling the Sarbaz river (25°40'N 61°00'E). Erratic winter rains in the interior of Baluchistan produce some surface flow in most years and occasional torrential floods, but for much of the year the river holds only a series of deep, stagnant pools; there is up to 2,900 ha of 'wetland' habitat. In the south, the reserve includes a stretch of Arabian Sea coast, with high cliffs, long sand beaches and dunes, as well as the estuarine system of the Sarbaz river in Govatar Bay (Khor Govater, 25°10'N 61°30'E, 11,560 ha). A large stand of mangrove Avicennia marina at the river mouth has some of the largest mangrove trees in the country. There are extensive intertidal mudflats, and a tiny rocky islet offshore provides a roost for large numbers of seabirds. The climate is extremely hot all year, with very low winter rainfall; the south-west monsoon keeps humidity high in summer but heavy rain is unusual. The fauna and flora are characteristically Indo-Malayan. A high water-table in the main valley supports open woodland of Acacia, Prosopis, Ziziphus, Tamarix and Phoenix, with stands of oleander Nerium and fan-palms along the river bed. Away from the river the vegetation is extremely sparse, and much of the reserve is almost devoid of plant life except after the very infrequent rains. There is a small fishing village near the river mouth and some livestock grazing in the reserve, but the area is remote and very sparsely populated.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The avifauna of the lower Sarbaz valley is typical of the lowlands of Baluchistan, and has much stronger affinities with the Indo-Malayan fauna than with the Palearctic. Characteristic species include Butastur teesa, Aquila rapax, Gyps bengalensis, Francolinus pondicerianus, Turnix sylvatica, Pterocles exustus, Athene brama, Caprimulgus mahrattensis, Dendrocopos assimilis, Calandrella raytal, Saxicola caprata, Lanius vittatus, Acridotheres tristis, Passer pyrrhonotus and Lonchura malabarica; all except G. bengalensis are known or thought to breed. Other notable breeding species include Hieraaetus fasciatus, Pterocles senegallus, P. lichtensteinii, Anthus similis, Hippolais rama, and Petronia xanthocollis. Winter visitors include Accipiter badius, Phoenicurus erythronotus, Sylvia nana and Phylloscopus inornatus humei. The habitats at the mouth of the Sarbaz river are an important wintering area for Phalacrocorax carbo, Pelecanus crispus, Platalea leucorodia and a variety of shorebirds and gulls. Large numbers of terns occur on passage, including many Sterna bergii. Breeding birds on the coast include Ardeola grayii, Burhinus recurvirostris, Dromas ardeola and Sterna saundersi. Pandion haliaetus occurs in winter, and is thought to breed. At least 204 species have been recorded in the reserve.

Non-bird biodiversity: Reptiles: the Sarbaz river has a thriving population of Crocodylus palustris (V), at its western limit. Mammals: Caracal caracal (rare), Lynx lynx, Gazella bennetti (V), Capra hircus aegagrus (rare) and Ovis ammon (rare), and the rare Baluchistan race of Selenarctos thibetanus (V) is believed to occur.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  1987-1992  52-112 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1970-1977  3,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus resident  1977  9 individuals  good  A1, B2  Near Threatened 
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus resident  1977  27 individuals  good  B2  Endangered 
Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris resident  1977  2 breeding pairs  good  B3  Near Threatened 
Crab-plover Dromas ardeola breeding  1977  2 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  1970-1977  1,000 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans winter  1977  1,000 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii passage  1977  500 individuals  good  B3  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei passage  1977  1,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia passage  1977  110 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii passage  1977  2,000 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Saunders's Tern Sternula saundersi breeding  1977  present  B3  Least Concern 
Spotted Sandgrouse Pterocles senegallus resident  1977  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii resident  1977  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Sykes's Nightjar Caprimulgus mahrattensis resident  1977  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Sind Woodpecker Dendrocopos assimilis resident  1977  9 individuals  poor  A3, B3  Least Concern 
Pale Crag-martin Hirundo obsoleta resident  1977  common  A3  Least Concern 
Greater Hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes resident  1977  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
White-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus leucotis resident  1977  abundant  A3  Least Concern 
Small Whitethroat Sylvia minula winter  1977  47 individuals  poor  B3  Least Concern 
Hooded Wheatear Oenanthe monacha resident  1977  6 individuals  poor  A3, B3  Least Concern 
House Bunting Emberiza striolata resident  1977  12 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bahukalat (Gando) Protected Area 461,472 protected area contained by site 382,430  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Desert   major
Sea   minor
Coastline   minor
Wetlands (inland)   1%
Forest   minor
Shrubland   minor

Land use

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

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

References Firouz (1974), Scott (1975b, 1976a).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bahu Kalat (Gandu) Protected Area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/12/2014

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