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Location Oman, Dhofar
Central coordinates 54o 4.00' East  17o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, B1i, B2
Area 200 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description A predominantly freshwater coastal lagoon (c.1.1 km long) in the built-up municipal area of Salalah, fed by seepage from a tributary wadi; the sand barrier is occasionally breached by wadi floods. There are extensive stands of Phragmites, Juncus and sedges. Freshwater inflow has been controlled as part of measures to reduce flood damage in the town.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Other notable species in winter and on migration are Philomachus pugnax (400, October) and Tringa stagnatilis (48, November). A wide variety of waterbirds occur, including interesting numbers of unusual species such as Nettapus coromandelianus (14, April), Hydrophasianus chirurgus (20, February) and Pluvialis fulva (106, November). At least 148 species have been recorded.

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
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris passage  1993  2 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus winter  1993  670 individuals  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus passage  1993  1,000 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
The Khawrs of the Salalah Coast Reserve 1,250 protected area contains site 200  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

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: Salalah Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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