|Central coordinates||35o 47.10' East 33o 43.89' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, B1i, B1iv|
|Altitude||860 - 870m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Site description The largest remaining freshwater wetland in Lebanon, lying at 865 m on the western side of the Bekaa valley, fed by the El Rhabe stream from springs high up in the Lebanon Mountains. It is bordered to the south by the straight-cut, canalized Riachi river, and to the north by the Houjier river. The main area floods markedly beyond 280 ha (especially towards the north-east) in February-March due to late winter rain and melting snow, but dries out between August and November each year. There are extensive Phragmites beds, interspersed with open fields of coarse pasture, and there are trees along the Litani and Riachi rivers; native Salix have almost died out, but Populus and Cupressus have been introduced. The site is a major water resource for people locally, and large flocks of goats and sheep are moved into the swamp for grazing during the dry period of August-November. Other main land-uses are hunting (hunters come from all over Lebanon, all year but especially between autumn and spring), tourism and recreation. More locally the site is used for cultivation and fishing.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Black Stork Ciconia nigra||passage||1997||555 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|White Stork Ciconia ciconia||passage||1997||18,392 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes||passage||1974-1975||7,500-15,000 individuals||poor||B1iv|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Ammiq Wetland||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||280||is identical to site||280|
|Shouf||UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve||52,260||protected area contains site||280|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Permanent freshwater marshes & pools; Permanent rivers, streams & creeks; Seasonal & intermittent freshwater marshes & pools||major|
|Artificial - terrestrial||Arable land; Pasture land||minor|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Grazing in dry season|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Other biodiversity Mammals: Lutra lutra (rare) recently went extinct.
Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Assad Serhal.
References Carp (1980), Macfarlane (1978), Tohmé and Neuschwander (1974).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Aammiq wetland. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/04/2014
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