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Location Oman, Dhofar
Central coordinates 54o 23.00' East  17o 2.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, B1i, B2, B3
Area 300 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 1994





Site description A disparate, complex coastal lagoon on the Salalah coastal plain, immediately west of the town of Taqah. There is substantial but variable freshwater inflow, said to be at least partly from a freshwater spring at the north end, where the shore is rocky. The barrier beach is low and sandy. The water surface is mostly open but with a dense fringe of Phragmites (abundant), Juncus, Typha and sedges. There are some minor pools to the west. There are patches of sabkha and scrub around the site. The marginal vegetation is heavily browsed by camels, and some cutting of Typha occurs. Tree-planting has occurred to the north-west.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Ixobrychus minutus may breed in some years (1+ pairs). Other notable species in winter or on passage include Nycticorax nycticorax (max. 63, March) and Ardea cinerea (56, January; 60, March). Large roosts of non-breeding seabirds occur on the barrier beach in summer. At least 193 species occur, including a wide variety of waterbirds and breeding Afrotropical species such as Mirafra cantillans. Coracias garrulus (100, May) can be a notable passage migrant in the vicinity of the creek.

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
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  1993  2 individuals  good  B2  Vulnerable 
Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii passage  1993  1,330 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus winter  1993  3,300 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii passage  1993  920 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii non-breeding  1993  37 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2  Least Concern 

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland major
other minor
Notes: Cutting of bulrush (Typha).

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: Khawr Hassan. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife