email a friend
printable version
Location Saudi Arabia, Ash Sharqiyah
Central coordinates 50o 0.00' East  25o 31.80' North
IBA criteria A4iii, B1i, B2
Area 7,500 ha
Altitude 120 m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Saudi Wildlife Commission (Affiliate)

Site description A long, narrow, man-made river, the only large-scale freshwater habitat in the Eastern Province, running east-south-east from Hofuf and Abqaiq towards al-'Uqair. It is formed by run-off from al-Hasa oasis and sewage effluent from Hofuf, Abqaiq and numerous small towns, and frequently disappears under sand-dunes, to surface again a few kilometres further on. There are numerous pools of up to c.250 ha, often surrounded by large reedbeds. The rest of the area consists of sandy gravel plain and sand-dunes interspersed with sabkhahs and aeolian sand-fields.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus resident  1993  rare [units unknown]  B2  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca breeding  1983  10 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Near Threatened 
Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris winter  1993  present [units unknown]  B2  Least Concern 
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus winter  1983  1,900 individuals  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1993  20,000 individuals  medium  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Desert   major
Artificial - aquatic   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting major
tourism/recreation major
water management major

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by P. Symens.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Al-Hasa lagoons. Downloaded from on 17/04/2014

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