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Location Oman, Dhofar
Central coordinates 53o 47.00' East  16o 53.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3
Area 100 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description A 700-m-long coastal lagoon set between low hills, c.45 km west of Salalah, and blocked from the sea by a pebbly bar which is traversed by a tarmac road. The water is fresh or only slightly brackish, and inflow of fresh water is variable though not substantial. A severe flood in 1989 caused effluent pollution. The water surface is largely open, and the banks are sandy and dominated by grasses, with only small areas of marginal fringing vegetation (Phragmites). Shoals of small fish occur at the seaward end. A culvert has been built under the road to allow passage of strong tides and wadi-floods. The bankside vegetation is heavily grazed by livestock. The site is near a fishing village and housing extends right up to it.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. Used extensively by a wide variety of feeding waterbirds, and large roosts of gulls and terns occur on the barrier beach. Another notable species in winter is Ardea cinerea (41, February). Large numbers of seabirds feed offshore during spring/summer: Puffinus persicus (see box), Phaethon aethereus (50, July) and Sula dactylatra (200, May). At least 170 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
Puffinus lherminieri non-breeding  1993  60 individuals  medium  B2  Not Recognised 
Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus non-breeding  1993  50 individuals  medium  B1ii  Least Concern 
Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis non-breeding  1993  2,000 individuals  medium  A1, A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii non-breeding  1993  2,200 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, B3  Least Concern 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture major
rangeland/pastureland 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: Khor Mughsayl. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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