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Location Oman, Dhofar
Central coordinates 54o 26.00' East  17o 2.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2, B3
Area 1,100 ha
Altitude 0 - 100m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description One of the largest coastal lagoons in Oman, c.2.6 km long, on the Salalah coastal plain east of and close to the town of Taqah. There is substantial but variable freshwater inflow from Wadi Darbat. Its sandbar is occasionally breached, when the lagoon becomes temporarily tidal. The khawr is cliff-girt along its central part, and a small hill occurs at either side of its mouth. The water surface is partly open, with a dense fringe of Juncus, Phragmites, Typha and sedges and grasses. There are beds of water-weed Chara. An important antiquity site lies just east of the lagoon. A road leads to the mouth of the khawr from Taqah, and the sandbar is open to the public. The vegetation is heavily grazed and browsed by camels, cattle and goats.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The most important khawr in Dhofar for wintering and passage waterbirds, with a greater diversity of species and larger numbers of birds present than at other khawrs. Other wintering species include wildfowl (up to 1,200 birds of 16 species), Aquila clanga (max. 3, November) and Hydrophasianus chirurgus (50, February). Large numbers of Ardea cinerea (40, April) and Ciconia ciconia (150, November) occur on migration. The number of species recorded overall (203) is high, reflecting the occurrence of many migrant species, a wide variety of breeders including Afrotropical species, and scarce or vagrant freshwater waterbirds.

Non-bird biodiversity: Flora: at least three species on the Salalah coastal plain are endemic or near-endemic to Oman, and some may be present at this site.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Arabian Partridge Alectoris melanocephala resident  1993  common  B3  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  1993  30 individuals  good  B1i, B2  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris winter  1993  2 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  1992  3 individuals  good  B2  Vulnerable 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  1993  2 individuals  good  B2  Vulnerable 
Arabian Warbler Sylvia leucomelaena resident  1993  uncommon  B3  Least Concern 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland major
tourism/recreation minor

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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Khawr Rouri. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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