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Location Oman, Al Wusta
Central coordinates 57o 21.00' East  18o 56.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2, B3
Area 100 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 1994





Site description A major lagoon (900 × 600 m) on the Sahil al Jazir coastal plain, land-locked and predominantly freshwater, and surrounded by flat, sandy terrain including dunes. Aquatic vegetation includes Potamogeton and Ruppia; salt-tolerant dwarf shrubs and woody-based herbs are abundant around the site, becoming sparse away from the water. Human population density is low. Nomadic pastoralism is widely practised, and fishing is important in the coastal people's economy.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The site is rich in duck and roosting seabirds and shorebirds in winter and during migration. Up to c.600 duck occur in winter (the highest number in central Oman), including Aythya nyroca (see box), as well as good numbers of gulls and terns: Larus cachinnans/L. argentatus (140, January), Sterna nilotica (50, November), S. caspia (80, January), S. bergii (300, May) and S. sandvicensis (350, January). At least 121 species have been recorded, though the site is rather underwatched due to its remoteness.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Gazella gazella (V) is regularly seen. Flora: the terrestrial vegetation shows a high degree of endemism.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca passage  1993  15 individuals  good  B1i, B2  Near Threatened 
Saunders's Tern Sternula saundersi breeding  1993  30 breeding pairs  medium  B3  Least Concern 

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland major
fisheries/aquaculture major

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Simon Albrecht; summary bird data supplied by Oman Bird Records Committee (per Jens Eriksen).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khor Dirif. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/12/2014

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